Staring at your computer screen, smartphone, video game or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, but your eyes may feel dry and tired. Some people also experience headaches or motion sickness when viewing 3-D, which may indicate that the viewer has a problem with focusing or depth perception.
What causes computer-use eyestrain?
- Normally, humans blink about 18 times a minute, but studies show we blink half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play.
- Extended reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eyestrain.
What to do:
- Sit about 25 inches from the computer screen and position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
- Reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly; use a screen filter if needed.
- Post a note that says “Blink!” on the computer as a reminder.
- Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds: the “20-20-20” rule.
- Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
- Take regular breaks from computer work, and try to get enough sleep at night.
- If problems continue, it could be something more serious. Come to Marianas Eye Institute to see our Saipan optometrist, Dr. Mark Robertson, who can help you.
(Information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology)