While preventing eye strain in the first place is preferable, it’s not always possible. If you experience digital eye strain symptoms, try these remedies for relief.
1. Use preservative-free eye drops
Over-the-counter eye drops help ensure your eyes stay moist and lubricated despite the drying effects of extended screen time. Reach for a preservative-free brand of eye drops, as added preservatives make dry eyes worse for some people.
2. Turn on a humidifier
An air conditioned or heated room, poor air quality, or a running fan can contribute to eye strain because all will dry the air in a room. Put some moisture back into the air (and your eyes) by running a humidifier.
3. Change tasks and get up and move every 20 to 30 minutes
Give your eyes a complete break by moving away from the screen two or three times an hour. A quick walk to the sink to refill your water bottle will give your eyes a much-needed change of pace. Ideally, carve out a few longer periods during the day when you can go outside and walk around to expose your eyes to natural light.
4. Blink often
Lower your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently. You could put a post-it note on the corner of your screen to remind yourself to blink. Or set a timer to let you know when it’s time for a break from your screen, and practice a long, slow blink.
5. Try computer glasses
Computer glasses are, as the name implies, glasses specially designed for computer use. These glasses generally have a little more than half the magnifying power of reading glasses, but need to be customized based on your eyesight, how far away your computer screen is, and other factors. Many people report eye strain relief when they wear computer glasses, but more research is needed.