Blurred vision, excessive headaches, itchy red eyes; these are just a few common symptoms of eyestrain. Formally referred to as asthenopia by ophthalmologists, it is a condition that we commonly encounter when concentrating on a visually intense task.
One of the most common causes of asthenopia is our daily exposure to technology. According to a recent survey conducted in 2012 by The Vision Council, U.S. adults spend four to six hours a day in front of the warm glow of electronic devices, and 70% of those surveyed reported some degree of eyestrain associated with this level of exposure. But, with technology being our connection to the world and an integral part of many careers how do we save ourselves from technology becoming a real pain in the eyes? Here are three simple methods to reduce the stresses on what many consider our most valuable faculty.
- Give It A Break
Excessive use of monitors or televisions can cause the muscles in the eye to tighten, which can result in irritation or worse, blurred vision. By looking away or performing a task that requires activities that are less visually strenuous, you allow the muscles to relax. An easy way to achieve this is a method called the 20-20-20 break. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.
- Don’t Go Towards The Light
If at all possible, lower the level of your ambient lighting. By reducing the amount of surrounding light, your eyes won’t continually try to regulate the amount of light entering the eye. If you are like many, you may bake under a fluorescent sun. If you can’t adjust the light in your surrounding environment, lowering the brightness on your screen can reduce glare and the strain of reading.
- The Spectacle Of Spectacles
Consulting an eye care specialist and having regular eye exams may relieve internal factors that may be causing eye stress. You may potentially need a pair of prescription glasses that are specially made to optimally view objects at intermediate distances. If you have acute vision, computer eyewear may help. With special tints and coatings, these lenses soften glare caused by direct and indirect light.
Unless there is an event that knocks us back into the Stone Age, our world will continue to advance into the future of technology and the potential of it being unnecessary is very unlikely. And since vision is imperative for much of your daily life, do yourself a favor and take care of your eyes by reducing the stress that you expose them to. If you have techniques that you use to provide some visual relief let us know in the comments section below.