Think about all the things you used to do in person that you’re now doing online. For example, if you have an office job, every single meeting you have is probably online instead of that quick gathering together in a conference room. All those family and friend gatherings such as birthday parties and holidays? You’ve likely done them online for over the last year too.
Hopefully we’ll all move closer and closer to in person events and work meet-ups over the next few months. But that doesn’t stop what we’ve probably all been experiencing in the meantime: eye strain. Doing nearly everything, from ordering groceries to blowing out birthday candles, over a big screen or a small screen has ensured that many more of us are having eye issues. What can you do to minimize this problem and prevent it going forward? This graphic has some ideas to help you protect your eyes.
What are common eye strain symptoms?
Computer usage puts intense demands on our eyes. Our computer screens are only a foot or two away from us, and we must focus our eyes on a spot nearby, often for long periods. Protracted periods of close-up focus take a toll. You may notice, for instance, that after staring a screen, it takes a moment for the rest of the world to come back into focus. You may also experience watery eyes, blurry vision, or even double vision.
We also tend not to blink as much when looking at screens, which puts further strain on the eyes. A typical person blinks about 15 times a minute. That number plummets to just around five times a minute when looking at a screen. Your eyes dry out when you don’t blink as often. In addition to your eyes feeling dry (because they are), you may notice your eyes are red, feel tired, or burn.
You may have also heard that the blue light found in screens damages your eyes. So far, little data supports that theory, but blue light can fatigue the eyes. Plus, it can disrupt sleep cycles, which may also cause your eyes to feel tired. The glare from your computer can also cause eye strain.
And it’s not just your eyes that feel the strain. In addition to eye-related symptoms of digital eye strain, you may also experience eye strain headaches and soreness or stiffness in your shoulders, back, and neck.