Screen time and your eyes
With kids spending more time in front of a computer screen due to home schooling, and with many people working from home and using online resources such as Zoom for meetings, there may be an increase in dry eyes and digital fatigue. There are a few ways to combat this.
Dr. Jared Rasmussen, one of Cascadia Eye’s own, says,” I’m a big proponent of the 20/20/20 rule or a variation of it, in that for every 20 minutes of screen time, if you take a 20 second break and look more than 20 feet away. Maybe you can push it to 30 minutes or even an hour of screen time, but gives your eyes a break!”
Our pediatric specialist, Dr. K. David Epley, was quoted in an American Academy of Ophthalmology article titled,“Is too Much Screen Time Harming Children’s Vision?” with these 10 tips to help protect your child’s eyes from computer eyestrain:
1 – Set a kitchen timer or a smart device timer to remind them to take an eye break for 20 seconds.
2 – Alternate reading an e-book with a real book and encourage kids to look up and out the window every two chapters.
3 – After completing a level in a video game, look out the window for 20 seconds.
4 – Pre-mark books with a paperclip every few chapters to remind your child to look up. On an e-book, use the “bookmark” function for the same effect.
5 – Avoid using a computer outside or in brightly lit areas, as the glare on the screen can create strain.
6 – Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen so that it feels comfortable to you.
7 – Use good posture when using a computer and when reading.
8 – Encourage your child to hold digital media farther away; 18 to 24 inches is ideal.
9 – Create a distraction that causes your child to look up every now and then.
10 – Remind them to blink when watching a screen.
And good habits for kids are also good habits for adults. Even if you think your own screen time hasn’t increased significantly in this new reality, using the 20/20/20 rule is an excellent habit to get into for every computer user.
Contact Cascadia Eye
If you would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at Cascadia Eye, please contact us today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!
In addition, join us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to ask your questions about eyes, exams, and our practice. We’d love to hear from you – and there might be a blog to address your questions in the future.