March has been named Workplace Eye Wellness month by Prevent Blindness, a long-term pioneer in non-profit eye health awareness across the world that started in 1908. They've spent decades researching and collaborating with ECPs with the mission to prevent blindness and preserve sight.
One of their keys to focus on this month is digital eye strain. Here are several great tips you can pass along to your patients (and your employees) to help with this common issue.
Digital eye strain (aka computer vision syndrome) has been a hot topic in our industry for the past several years thanks to numerous studies correlating our increased usage of digital devices emitting blue light and its long-term effects.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, many of us have found the time spent on our devices has skyrocketed thanks to an increase in digital teleconferences, working from home, and children attending school online. One recent study found children's eyes absorb more blue light from digital devices compared to adults.
Here are their recommendations to help prevent eyestrain:
- Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and slightly below eye level.
- Use a document holder placed next to your screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
- Change your lighting to lower glare and to reduce harsh reflections. Putting glare filters over your digital screens can also help.
- Get a chair you can adjust.
- Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.
- Lenses that filter blue light can help ease digital eye strain.
- Anti-reflective coatings on lenses reduce glare and increase contrast. They can also help filter blue light from digital devices.
They've also launched the Screen Time Out campaign to promote the benefits of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 20-20-20 rule.
"Every 20 minutes look away from your screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset and replenish themselves."
Share these tips with your patients, coworkers, and loved ones to help get the word out on healthy usage of the digital devices we use every day. You never know who you may end up helping in the long run!
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