Digital Screens and Eyes: How to Reduce Injuries. It’s not a surprise that in the last decade, digital screen use has increased greatly. In fact, just in the last four years, the number of American adults using a smartphone daily has increased nearly 60%.
Today, 69% of adults use a smartphone every day. What’s more, this is in addition to laptop and desktop screens many already use daily for work. Using two or more digital screens at the same time increases the chance for digital eye strain.
What is digital eye strain? The symptoms of digital eye strain include:
- Neck, back, or shoulder pain
- Eye strain
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
What causes digital eye strain? Looking at digital screens, especially at close distances, reduces eye blinks. Reduced blinking causes eyes to dry out. In addition, downward viewing angles (text neck, anyone?) lead to neck and back pain. The blue light from digital screens strains eyes, as well.
To reduce digital eye strain, follow these tips:
- Keep smartphones just below eye level, 15 degrees to be exact. Reading your phone while on your lap or below a table can add pressure to your neck as your head is tilted downward.
- Similarly, laptop and desktop screens should be positioned an arm’s length away. If you have trouble reading the text on the screen, change the monitor’s resolution.
- Don’t use digital screens in a dark room. Eye strain can increase because of the harsh contrast in lighting between the room and the screen. However, excess overhead lights are bad for eye strain, too.
- Because looking at digital screens reduces blinking, our eyes become dried out. To help prevent this, remember the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of using a digital screen, move your eyes off the screen and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Avoid “blue light” before bed by not using digital screens right before bedtime. There are also lenses available that block blue light from entering your eyes.