Do you find yourself rubbing your eyes quite often? Are you feeling more tired than usual? A new headache towards the front of your head, or neck pain perhaps?
Turns out, ‘digital eye strain’, or ‘computer vision syndrome’ is a thing. Your fatigue, and/or neck and shoulder tension could be a result of the epic amount of time we are all spending on the screen. With many of us working from home, and supervising our kids learning online, it’s worth practising a few healthy habits.
Ophthalmologist (specialist eye doctor) Griffin Jardine, MD recommends:
- Practising the 20-20-20 rule: take a break from the screen every 20 minutes (set a timer if you need to); look at least 20 feet away from the screen for at least 20 seconds.
- Positioning the screen at about an arm’s length away and a bit below your line of vision. This protects vision, as well as the neck and posture.
- Avoiding using a screen outside. When indoors, point the screen away from bright lights to help reduce glare.
- Alternate reading e-books with real books and encourage kids to look up and out the window every few chapters. Insert paper clips or bookmarks to remind them to look up.
- Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen to your comfort level.
- Stay hydrated and remember to blink regularly to keep your eyes from feeling dry and tired.
- Use lubricating eye drops if your eyes feel dry and itchy (not “red-eye” relief drops).
And of course, spending as much time outdoors as possible, and encouraging your kids to do the same (easier said than done of course!).
Eye exercises can also be very helpful. Try out this eye rolling exercise (a common yoga therapy practice) recommended by Yoga International:
“sit upright with a long spine and relaxed breath. Soften your gaze by relaxing the muscles in your eyes and face. Without moving your head, direct your gaze up toward the ceiling. Then slowly circle your eyes in a clockwise direction, tracing as large a circle as possible. Gently focus on the objects in your periphery as you do this, and invite the movement to feel smooth and fluid. Repeat three times, then close the eyes and relax. When you’re ready, perform the same eye-rolling movement three times in a counterclockwise direction”.
So take the time to smell and (look) at the roses!
See you soon, The Stable Team
For more information check out this article in Forbes magazine https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/06/01/are-your-eyes-hurting-during-the–coronavirus-pandemic-you-may-have-computer-vision-syndrome/#e02dd76cf96e.