Top Tips for Using Digital Devices in Lockdown
As you read this, your eyes are focused on a digital screen. With lockdown measures leading to a vast majority of the population learning and working from home, we’ve naturally been spending more time on our devices than ever – something that is especially true for children and young professionals. In fact, a recent survey of 2000 participants, commissioned by eye health charity Fight for Sight, indicated that over half of respondents have been using screens more since the Covid pandemic started.
This means that here at Feltham Eyecare Centre, we have seen an increasing number of patients who have complained of digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome.
What Is Eye Strain?
Eye strain occurs when we our eyes get tired after focusing on one thing for a long time, such as staring at digital screens.
Common symptoms include:
- dry, itchy eyes
- blurred vision
- increased sensitivity to light
- headaches from computer use
The truth is, our eyes simply aren’t designed to be staring at screens all day. Luckily, there are some simple ways that you can reduce eye strain symptoms caused by excess screen time. Our principal optometrist, Mr Kasmani, has come up with his top tips to help keep your eyes comfortable when you’re on a digital device:
Wear Up To Date Computer Glasses
Not all glasses are made equal. If you’ve been advised to wear spectacles for computer use, make sure your prescription is up to date and your glasses are reflection-free. This will protect your eyes against unwanted glare and reduce discomfort while using screens.
Varilux Digitime Crizal lenses
At Feltham Eyecare Centre we can advise you on the most suitable type of lenses for you when you are working on the computer. We specialise in fitting Varilux Digitime Crizal lenses – specially designed for use on computers and digital devices, along with Crizal Prevencia lenses, which work to filter our harmful UV and blue light to protect your eyes and provide better clarity of vision, and Crizal Sapphire lenses, which significantly reduce reflections from all directions, with enhanced lens aesthetics so that your spectacle lenses look invisible to others.
Crizal Prevencia lenses with UV and blue light protection
Crizal Sapphire lenses for glare reduction, both outdoors and indoors
Practise the 20-20-20 Rule
This is one of the simplest tips yet can still be so easily forgotten as we get lost in our daily routines of working or learning on screens. All you have to do is set a reminder to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away. Better still, if you can, also try to limit your screen time as much as possible when you don’t need to use them.
Don’t forget to blink! When we stare at a screen, we tend to blink less, which leads to dry eyes. Blinking regularly refreshes your tear film and restores moisture to the surface of your eyes, reducing the likelihood of you developing digital eye strain.
Position Yourself Correctly From Screens
Mr Kasmani recommends sitting at least 60cm (24 inches) away from your screen. The further away you are, the better it is for your eyes. Sitting close to the screen actually causes your eye muscles to work harder, as they are forced to turn inwards, ultimately tiring them out.
Book Your Eyecare Appointment
If you’ve got persistent sore, tired eyes or other vision problems, don’t forget to book in your eye exam. We’ll be happy to answer any questions about digital eye strain or address any concerns you may have, after ruling out any other potential issues or changes in vision which could be contributing to your symptoms.