How To Protect Your Vision If You Spend A Lot Of Time In Front Of Screens

After a long day spent staring at the computer screen, do your eyes ever bother you? You’re not alone. As people spend more and more time gazing at their devices, studies show that bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers.

You may find that after logging too many hours looking at your phone, computer or tablet, your eyes are are red and dry or you have a twitch or even blurred vision. These symptoms can spread beyond your eyes, too. You may feel tired, get headaches, have neck and shoulder pain, be less productive and make more errors in your work. Yikes!

person looking at phone photo
Getty Images | Cole Bennetts

So what can you do? According to The Vision Council, there is specialty eyewear that reduces the strain put on your eyes when you look at digital devices.

But they also stress that you should address any concerns you have about your eyes with your eye doctor, and that goes for children, too.

Beyond that, however, they offer the following tips for relieving eye strain that comes with too much screen time:

  • Take a break, following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break from looking at the screen, and instead focus your gaze on something approximately 20 feet away.
  • Reduce overhead lighting to eliminate glare from your screen.
  • When sitting at a computer, you should be at an arm’s distance away from it.
  • Consider increasing the text size so you don’t have to strain as much to read.

iphone photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

Beyond these behavioral modifications, your diet can also help with the problem. Nutrients found in leafy green vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, can help reduce the symptoms associated with eye strain. According to a study conducted at the University of Georgia, students who consumed these nutrients reduced their eye strain and fatigue by 20 percent and had one less headache per week. Yet another reason to eat your vegetables!