KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With much of the Kansas City area under stay-at-home orders and dealing with the transition to working from home, a local eye doctor offers several tips to help reduce eye strain in the home-office environment.
Dr. Jason Stahl, an ophthalmologist and refractive surgeon with Durrie Vision, offered five tips for reducing digital eye strain, which is caused by focusing too long on a screen at close to medium-range distances.
Stahl said adjusting your computer position, the monitor’s brightness, reducing glare, giving your eyes a break and blinking can help prevent blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes and eye fatigue that can be brought on by digital eye strain.
Here are the suggestions to protect your eyes:
1. Proper monitor position
Your monitor should be positioned slightly down from eye level and at least 25 inches, or arm’s length, away to reduce the intensity of the light and the stress on the eyes.
2. Adjust screen brightness, contrast
Screens that glow brighter than the surroundings force the eyes to work harder. Try to match the screen brightness to the level of the room and increase the contrast to reduce eye strain. Different times of day and the weather may affect these settings, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
3. Limit glare
Avoid glare from windows and lights as much as possible and use anti-glare screens when possible.
4. Exercise your eyes
Remember the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, stop for at least 20 seconds and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. It encourages the muscles in your eyes to relax and can help reduce fatigue.
5. Don’t forget to blink
Usually, we naturally blink every 4 seconds, but some studies indicate this decreases by more than 50 % when staring at computer screens or other digital devices. Make an effort to blink as often as possible, which will help keep eyes moisturized and avoid dry eye.