Staring at Screens All Day Is Damaging Your Eyes — Here's How to Protect Them

Photographer: Rima BrindamourProduct Credit: Max Mara Sweater and SkirtRestrictions: Editorial and internal use only. No advertising, no print.
POPSUGAR Photography | Rima Brindamour
POPSUGAR Photography | Rima Brindamour

In the words of Madonna, "I'm a digital girl in a digital world." Digital devices have allowed us to connect with people all over the world, but there are a few downsides to consider, like digital eye strain. If you've ever suffered from discomfort after using a digital device for longer than two hours, chances are you're experiencing digital eye strain. The Vision Council found that more than 83 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours a day, with more than half of the same group using two devices simultaneously and experiencing digital eye strain. If completely disconnecting is not an option, here are some tips to consider to protect your eyes from strain.

Remember to Blink

"When you look at a screen you're so involved that you forget to blink. The blink rate goes from 15 times a minute to five or seven times per minute," said ophthalmologist Dr. Matthew Gardiner. Blinking helps keep the front of your eye surface moist.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is easy to implement daily. Take a 20-second break from your screen every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.

Adjust Your Workspace

The Vision Council recommends positioning yourself at arm's distance away from your computer monitor. Another tip is to lower your monitor. You want the center of the monitor to be about four to eight inches below eye level and around 20 to 28 inches from the eyes. Position your monitor to avoid glare from overhead light and windows.

Increase the Text Size

Another quick fix is to increase the text size on your devices, as this will help define the content on the screen.

Reduce Glare

Using softer lighting on your devices and matte filters will reduce the glare on tablets, phones, and computers.

Check Your Prescription

Discomfort could be caused by not having the right prescription for your glasses! Be sure to get a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years.