Ease Your Eyes
The American Optometric Association's (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q® survey reports that 58 percent of adults have experienced digital eye strain or vision problems as a direct result of sitting at a computer for seven or more hours.
The AOA offers the following five simple steps to relieve digital eye strain:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
- Keep a distance: The AOA recommends sitting a comfortable distance from the computer monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright posture and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from the eye to the front surface of the screen.
- View from a different angle: Ideally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees, or about 4 to 5 inches, below eye level as measured from the center of the screen.
- Decrease glare: While there is no way to completely minimize glare from light sources, consider using a glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
- Blink often: Minimize your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently.
And don’t forget to get your annual vision exam. Even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts, it’s still important to get your annual exam so your optometrist can check for visual acuity (sharpness), depth perception, eye alignment, and eye movement. Your optometrist can also detect conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, sometimes even before your primary care physician detects them.