Between work on a computer, social media and other digital consumption habits, we spend a lot of time looking at screens. All that staring can put a real strain on our eyes.
Humans blink an average of 15 times per minute, but studies show that number reduced by nearly half whenever we are looking at a computer screen or device. Blinking helps keep the eye moisturized to prevent it from drying out. Dry eyes contribute to symptoms of eye strain that include headaches, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and more.
How to Reduce Eye Strain Using the 20-20-20 Rule
To combat these symptoms by taking the strain off your eyes, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the “20-20-20” rule, which suggests that every 20 minutes you look away from your screen at something roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That amount of time is all it takes for your eyes to readjust.
There are certain apps that you can download to stay on top of your eye health by sending you notifications every 20 mins.
You can also put a sticky note on your computer monitor as a reminder, or you can make it a habit to take a brief moment to rest your eyes whenever you happen to catch a glimpse of a new print of tiny desk art in your workspace or home office.
Build On Healthy Habits
You can also build on those habits. Maybe you also stand and stretch or walk to get a glass of water. Bonus points for finding a healthy distraction from the computer monitor.
Whatever you do, your body will be grateful for the attention, your eyes will appreciate the rest, and your refocused mind will allow you to tackle your workload much more efficiently.
Eye strain relief doesn’t come overnight. You’ll need to practice good habits and be mindful of your time spent looking at screens. Maybe by using a specially designed app or a simple timer on your phone. Regardless, there are simple ways to reduce eye strain over time if you stick with it.
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