South San Francisco, CA July 2, 2023 from SSF Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
July is vision awareness month. And whether you work at a computer or laptop, you’ve probably felt the strain that screen time can put on your eyes. The average person spends 6 hours and 58 minutes per day looking at a screen. Reading through social media feeds, checking e-mails and smartphone use all add up, which can leave your eyes strained and your neck and shoulders sore. If you work in an office environment, these effects can be even more severe.
The following 8 strategies will help:
1) Keep your screen at an arm’s length
Sitting about 25 inches away from your computer or laptop screen (about an arm’s length), can reduce the impact the glare has on your eyes.
2) Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Letting your eyes adjust to a different perspective helps them relax.
3) Give your eyes a break
Remove your glasses, take out your contact lenses or just close your eyes for a few moments.
4) Give dry eyes some relief
If your eyes ever feel dry, use high-quality artificial tears as needed. If your eyes get painfully dry or are frequently dry, talk to your doctor about special drops or ointments that can help.
5) Get regular vision tests
Even if your prescription is just a little off, it can contribute to major eye fatigue. Make sure your contact lens and glasses prescriptions are current. Your eyes will thank you for it.
6) Select eye-friendly font sizes
It’s not the size of the screens that cause eye strain, it’s the font size. Experiment with your font sizes until you find one that is comfortable for your eyes.
7) Get your lighting right
Check your overhead lighting and the lighting behind you to make sure you’re not working with an excessive glare. When you can, opt for background lighting that isn’t much dimmer than the screen itself.
8) Soothe tired eyes
When your eyes get tired or you feel a headache coming on, lie back and place a warm, damp washcloth across your eyelids for a couple of minutes.
By using these tips, you will go a long way towards preventing eye strain and the fatigue that comes with it.
John E. Skerry, MD
Physician in Chief
Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center