Millennials spend at least eight hours each day on their computers, smartphones, and tablets for both business and pleasure. While staring at the screens of these devices will not result in permanent eye damage, the eyes will likely feel tired, dry and even itchy after a while. Eye strain, blurry vision, and headaches, perhaps even motion sickness when watching 3D images, can also happen especially in people with pre-existing issues in depth perception or visual focus.
The bottom line: Millennials have higher risks for developing eye strain from the prolonged use of digital devices. This is partly because humans blink anywhere between 5 to 8 times when using digital screen devices in contrast with the normal 15 blinks per minute under normal circumstances. But emphasis must also be made that it’s not just the use of digital devices that causes eye strain since extensive reading and writing, among other activities requiring the use of the eyes in focusing on near objects (i.e., near work), can also be the cause.
But don’t worry too much as you can still maintain good eye health by keeping the following tips in mind.
Adopt Eye Ergonomics
The risk factors for eye strain are controllable and most of them are based on good eye ergonomics.
- Sit approximately 25 inches away from the computer screen; 25 inches is about an arm’s length.
- Place the screen so that you are looking at it at a slightly downward angle. This will also prevent stiff neck from looking up one too many times.
- Use a matte screen filter, or any anti-glare filter, to reduce the glare from the screen. Use the digital device in a well-lit area, too, if possible so that your eyes will not be straining to see the texts and images on the screen.
Your eyes will also appreciate regular breaks in between looking at the screen. The 20-20 rule is a great rule to remember in this regard – for every 20 minutes of looking at your screen, shift your eyes and look at an object 20 feet away, and keep looking at it for at least 20 seconds. You may want to look at green plants for this purpose since green has a soothing effect.
Yet another way to give your eyes a break is to wear your prescription glasses or contact lenses from Costco. You can avoid straining your eyes just reading the text and watching the videos and images on the screen because your visual acuity and clarity are better. But you shouldn’t sleep with your eyeglasses or contact lens on since accidents can happen. This also applies to contact lenses with the words “extended wear” on their labels.
With proper care, your eyes should serve you well in the coming years!