31 Jul 2020

HOW TO PREVENT EYE STRAIN

There is a significant increase in the daily use of digital devices like Desktops, Laptops, Tabs and Smartphones. It is not limited to a particular sector or an age group but, has become an integral part of the life of every individual. Be it for professional purpose or a social one. There is a significant increase in the individual screen time, which is increasing the number of people of suffering from Digital Eye Strain/Computer Vision Syndrome. Occurring in >50% of computer/smartphone users. It encompasses a range of symptoms, such as:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headache
  • Soreness, tiredness, burning or itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Redness of the eyes

Nowadays, it is not possible to avoid computer/smartphone use as it has become our need.

Then what to do?

 Don’t worry!! The solution is here!

If we take certain precautions while working on computers and smartphones, we can reduce the strain on our eyes and will be able to focus correctly on our work. Let’s see how:

  • TIPS TO PREVENT EYE STRAIN WHILE WORKING ON COMPUTER OR USING SMARTPHONES

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS

  • CONSULT THE OPHTHALMOLOGIST (EYE SPECIALIST):

First and foremost; if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, get your eyes checked from an eye specialist (Ophthalmologist). Moreover, those who work on computers must get their eyes checked once in a year.

  • GIVE RELAXATION TO YOUR EYES:

Working continuously on a computer puts a lot of stress on our eyes. Our eyes need relaxation as much as we did after hard work. Take the following measures to give your eyes the much-needed relaxation:

  1. TAKE REGULAR BREAKS: Take breaks at regular interval and follow the Rule of 20-20-20. After every 20 minutes of continuous work in front of a PC, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. (It reduces the tension and relaxes our eyes).
  2. BLINK YOUR EYES FREQUENTLY: Blinking helps in moistening the eyes which prevents dryness, itching, irritation.
  3. SPLASH NORMAL WATER ON YOUR EYES QUITE OFTEN: Splashing normal water on our eyes at regular intervals helps in keeping them moist and free from irritation, dryness and excess strain.
  4. DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES: Eyes are delicate organs; avoid rubbing them. Instead, rub your palms vigorously on each other and cup them on your eyes. The heat generated in the palms can soothe the eyes and help in reducing strain.
  5. ADJUST THE TEXT SIZE AND FONT ON YOUR DEVICES:

Adjust the font and size on the computer/smartphone as per the comfort to reduce the strain on our eyes.

TIPS WHILE WORKING ON DESKTOP/LAPTOP

  1. REDUCE GLARE:
  • Any direct light either sunlight or artificial light falling on the screen of a desktop/laptop its reflection produces glare. It reduces visibility, which puts a lot of strain on our eyes.
  • To reduce the glare either position the desktop or Laptop in such a way that there will no light directly falling on its screen or try to minimize the amount of light.
  • If the problem persists, then try using an anti-glare filter for your PCs screen.
  1. ADJUST COMPUTER DISPLAY SETTINGS:
  • Adjust the display setting of your desktop/Laptop to keep its brightness approximately same as that of the surrounding.
  • Pay attention to the contrast and colour scheme of the textual material you are reading. If it is agitating to the eyes, then copy it in a text editor as a dark text against a white background to read it. It will help in reducing strain on the eyes.
  1. LOCATION OF COMPUTER SCREEN:
  • The Laptop or desktop screen should be placed such that it is at least 20-24 inches away from your eyes, and the center of the screen should be 5-8 inches below the line of sight.
  • It allows our eyes to blink normally as they are not focused entirely on the screen. It keeps them sufficiently moist & reduces the strain.
  1. INVEST IN COMPUTER EYEWEAR:
  • If the work demands a continuous exposure to the computer screen, then consult the ophthalmologist and get customized prescription eyewear.
  • Using it reduces the glare on your eyes and decrease the strain, which helps in focusing well on the work.
  1. REFERENCE MATERIALS:
  • Keep the reference material at the level above the keyboard but below the computer screen.
  • If this is not possible, then try using a document holder to keep it beside the screen. It prevents frequent shifting of the focus while doing work, which reduces the strain on our eyes.

TIPS WHILE USING A SMARTPHONE:

  1. LIMIT THE USAGE OF YOUR SMARTPHONE.
  • The smartphone screen emits High energy Visible Light (HEV) or commonly known as Blue light. Constant exposure to this can be harmful to our eyes.
  • It is a good practice to use smartphones judiciously (Avoid unnecessary usage, use it only when required).
  1. USE THE BUILT-IN BLUE LIGHT FILTER MODE ON YOUR SMARTPHONES:
  • As we already know, the blue light(HEV light) emitted by a Smartphone screen can be harmful to our eyes.
  • Blue light filter, which is an inbuilt feature in most of the smartphones, filters the emission of blue light which, helps in preventing dryness, irritation, and strain on the eyes.
  1. USE LAPTOP OR DESKTOP TO READ LENGTHY TEXTUAL MATERIAL INSTEAD OF SMARTPHONES:
  • Due to the small screen size, it becomes difficult to read a lengthy textual material from a smartphone. It can put a lot of strain on the eyes.
  • Due to Optimum screen size, it is always comfortable for our eyes to read such lengthy material on desktop or Laptop.
  • Thus it is advisable to preferably use a Laptop or desktop to read lengthy textual materials instead of smartphones.
  1. ADJUST YOUR TEXT SIZE AND CONTRAST:
  • Duet to the small screen size of a smartphone/TABs in comparison with desktop/laptop, it is always tricky to read if a font is not clear, and text is small. It can put a lot of strain on our eyes.
  • It is advisable to use an easily readable font with good contrast and zoom in the feature while reading from smartphone/TABs.
  1. ADJUST THE SCREEN BRIGHTNESS:
  • A too bright or too dark screen of a smartphone can make our eye muscles work extra hard to keep our eyes focused, which makes them tired and fatigued.
  • It is recommended to keep the brightness level of the device’s screen close to the light in our surroundings.
  • Using auto adjust mode for the screen brightness can be useful in such a scenario. Also, one can turn night moe on while reading or typing in significantly dark surroundings.
  1. KEEP THE SCREEN CLEAN:
  • Routine cleaning of the screen of our smartphone device is a good practice. It removes the accumulated dust, smudges and fingerprints from the device’s screen and improves the visibility.
  1. HOLD IT AT A SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE EYES:
  • Holding a Smartphone too close while working on it can put a significant strain on the eyes.
  • It is advisable to hold it at least 16-18 inches away from the eyes while reading.
  • If it becomes difficult to read from this distance, try and adjust the font size or zoom in features rather than bringing the device closer.
  1. MINIMISE GLARE:
  • More the glare on the screen, Eyes need to put extra efforts to focus on the task (Reading, watching, typing, etc.), which tires them quickly.
  • Keep the screen of the device away from the direct light to reduce the glare. If not possible, then use an anti-glare screen protector commonly available in the market.

So, friends, we can understand that it is impossible to avoid the usage of computers or smartphones as our day to day work and life is dependent on them. At the same time, we should understand that our eye is a very precious organ. We need to take proper care of it.

It is not difficult if we follow the tips mentioned above, we can take care of our eyes correctly and at the same time, improve our focus and concentration on our work also.

REFERENCES:

  1. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0194218
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372403#:~:text=Many%20people%20blink%20less%20than,Take%20eye%20breaks.
  3. https://medium.com/swlh/use-this-20-20-20-rule-to-prevent-eye-strain-when-you-stare-at-screens-all-day-235c8b18c879
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/vision-loss-blindness.html#how-affect
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/electronic-screen-alert-avoid-this-vision-risk
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/

 

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