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5 Easy Habits to Keep Your Eyes Strain-free

5 Easy Habits to Keep Your Eyes Strain-free

Do you know that an average office going person spends around 1,700 hours in front of the computer screen per year? And, that does not include the time spent on mobile phones and other digital devices. Amid the long months of social isolation, our smartphones have become our best buds, the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing before sleep. Whereas, spending long hours in front of a screen could have adverse effects on the eyes, worsening dry eyes and even lead to insomnia. 

Why do we feel more strain when reading on a screen than reading a printed text?
Scientific studies show that our eyes tend to blink less when using computers or reading on a smartphone. The blink rate is reduced by half to third of what it is normally, which tends to cause digital eye strain with symptoms like:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Well, it’s no secret that mobile phones have become our safety tools helping us stay connected, informed and even productive (yes, that too!). And long working hours with multiple hours of screen time can not be cut short. So, it’s time we adopt a few habits to keep our eyes relaxed and healthy for long. 

Here’s a list of simple tips you can adopt to protect your eyes from excess screen time:

Keep Your Eyes Moist 
After spending hours on a phone or laptop, do you rub your eyes or feel an itch? It’s normal and happens because the reduced blinking dehydrates the eyes causing dry eyes. Make sure you lubricate your eyes well while working or even binge-watching, by using over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears. 

Adjust Your Distance from the Screen
A lot of times, eyes have to work harder if the laptop or computer screen is placed far off. Position your computer screen at an arm’s length, 20 to 26 inches away from your head, at an appropriate height so that you don't have to hunch over or sit up to see your screen. Placing the screen at an apt distance, also leads to an ergonomic posture, reducing recurrence of neck or shoulder pain. Also, try to adjust the font size whenever necessary to make reading easier.

Always Take a Break 
While sitting for hours working on a deadline or binge-watching the new thriller, remember to take breaks in between. Try to include the 20-20-20 rule in your daily routine. Take a break every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It helps your eyes relax, reducing strain and fatigue on the eye muscles. You can also give your eyes a break by looking at a faraway object for 10 to 15 seconds and then look at an object closer to you. Relaxing your eyes after every while is the best way to keep them healthy & strain-free. 

Keep a Check on the Light 
If your screen is brighter than the surrounding light, eyes have to strain themselves to see. To ensure proper visibility, adjust the room lighting and check for your screen’s brightness levels. If the screen’s background seems like the only source of light, it’s too bright. And if the screen appears grey or dull, power up the brightness to reduce eye strain. Also, note that flatter screens tend to have less glare. 

Skip Using Devices Before Bed 
Working for long hours on the computer screen and then spending the rest of the time scrolling through the phone, has become a common practice. On average, we pick up our phone around 58 times a day, just to check what’s new. While it has become an involuntary action, it’s time we keep our eye health at the fore. Research proves that blue light affects the body's circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. Too much blue light, especially at bedtime keeps us awake for long and puts a strain on our eyes. Try and limit your screen time by at least one or two hours before going to bed. Also, using night mode on mobile devices or laptops is the best way forward.

By: Navreet Kaur | on 2020-09-04

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