Near the end of a long workday, it strikes. My neck and shoulders feel achy, my eyes dry and tired. I fight the urge to rub my eyes. Lifting my tea mug, I realize I’m out of water. A headache finishes off the job, sealing me into a bad mood until I spend time resting.It’s five o’clock somewhere.
It’s no fun, but feeling poorly after too much screen time affects more than those of us with vision loss. It happens to anyone using digital devices. The longer you stare at a screen–computer, cell phone, tablet–the greater your chance of symptoms. The pain has a name. The American Optometic Association calls it Computer Vision Syndrome. The pain doesn’t have to last though. Routine things like getting adequate sleep and eating well are important; checking your work environment is critical. Reduce strain by sitting an arm’s length away from your device. Blink more. Further ease symptoms of CVS by adjusting light and minimizing glare.
When you’re staring at a screen all day, perhaps the best way to limit the eye strainer CVS is the 20-20-20 trick. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends:
“every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.”
Do it now. Look away from your screen and gaze at something in the distance. Blink and breathe a few times before you return. It’s refreshing. It’s simple. It’s easy. Make screen breaks a habit a few times every hour of digital device time. Experience less pain, less eye strain. My eyes feel better already.
Do you experience eye strain? When do your eyes feel dry and irritated? How often do you take breaks from your electronics? What do you do to reduce achy eyes? Tell me about it.