We’re surrounded by screens and use one everyday. Our kids use computers and handheld devices more than our generation and the ubiquity of these devices continues to grow. It’s important that we teach our kids to use these devices in a way that will reduce any sources of eye strain. The Vision Council recently released a report on digital eyestrain that provides practical tips for reducing the risks to our eyes.
We are living in an extraordinarily digital age. Thanks to technology often small enough to hold in one hand, we can video chat across oceans, stream lectures online to thousands and read entire books on one screen. It’s all shaping the way our world works, learns and socializes. But this digital world poses a potential risk to our eyes.
The issue is digital eye strain, which is caused by the overuse of digital devices. Because computer tablets, smartphones and other hand-held products are designed for reading and close range use, eyes must constantly refocus and reposition to process content like graphics and text. Over time, such efforts can lead to fatigue, irritation and vision problems.
Many of the suggestions contained in the report Screens, Phones, Tablets and More: Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age [PDF] will also reduce neck and back strain.
The Vision Council recommends the follow for safe “eye-gonomics”
- Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away
- Enlarge the text on your computer and handheld devices
- Clean your screens to remove dust and glare
- Blink often, don’t stare at your screen
- Adjust environmental variables such as lighting, the height of your desk, chair, screen
- Consider purchasing computer eyewear
Some days I find myself suffering from eye strain a little more than normal. I work in front of a computer all day so I’ve learned to recognize when I need a break or I need to correct my posture or habits.
Have you tried any of these suggestions? Do you make sure your kids are seated properly when using the computer?