Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

Woman using computer

Research found that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that doesn’t include our addiction to phones and other digital devices. All this screen time has led to an increase in complaints of eye straindry eye, headaches and insomnia. During Workplace Eye Wellness Month in March, Friedberg Eye Associates, PA and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are offering tips to desk workers everywhere whose eyes may need relief from too much screen time.

Why does computer use strain the eyes more than reading print material? Mainly because people tend to blink less while using computers. Focusing the eyes on computer screens or other digital displays has been shown to reduce a person’s blink rate by a third to a half, which tends to dry out the eyes. We also tend to view digital devices at less than ideal distances or angles.

You don’t need to buy expensive computer glasses to get relief. In fact, a recent study concluded that blue light filters are no more effective at reducing the symptoms of digital eye strain than a neutral filter. Instead, try altering your environment with these simple tips:

“Eyestrain can be frustrating. But it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort,” said Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If these tips don’t work for you, you may have an underlying eye problem, such as eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision, which can cause or worsen computer eyestrain.”

Those experiencing consistently dry red eyes or eye pain should visit an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care.

Find more information about eye health and how to protect your eyes on the Academy’s EyeSmart website.

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