Overcoming Digital Eye Strain
After you finish reading this sentence, may we suggest that you close your eyes for thirty seconds and take a deep breath. Assuming you finished the small exercise, how did that feel and what do you think the reason for that was? Have a conversation with yourself about the answer.
If you felt relaxed, perhaps it was because you had been using your eyes for a period of two hours or more, almost continuously, staring at a screen till now. Taking that break enabled your eyes to rest for a bit. Digital eye strain is rapidly becoming a very real and consistent problem in many adults across the world. It is no longer a condition that only affects avid video gamers; it has become something that encompasses all age groups. This is due to the exponential growth in the devices that are being used of late.
The world has become quite digital in its functioning. From the morning newspapers to the evening plays in theatres, every significant aspect of life now has its digital counterpart. As if it were not enough to have one phone per person, it has now become common for people to own multiple digital devices. There was a time when SOS meant ‘save our souls’. These days it has come to take upon a new meaning – ‘slaves of screens’. Though the acronym might be a bit of an exaggeration, it is not to be taken lightly. You can consider your own life as an example and perform a check to see how many devices you are using in a day.
How then, in this busy world, does one deal with the digital overload? Even the smallest of things require one to use a smartphone, a laptop or a computer. Here are a few tips you can include in your everyday life to protect yourself from digital eye strain:
- Take regular breaks: Make sure you take a break away from your screen once an hour, for at least thirty seconds. Use any form of reminder you are comfortable with, for example a phone alarm (yes, the irony is apparent in this solution!) Think of this as another form of a “nature’s call”, except it is a call to protect your eyes.
- Stay hydrated: Ensuring that you have enough water in your system keeps your body functioning at optimum levels. This also helps your eyes.
- Seek non-digital alternatives: Use a tablet for reading? Try switching to books, magazines and newspapers instead. Take a walk to your library and thus include an exercise as well.
- Meet or call, don’t text: It has become very common to text friends and family these days. The simple alternative to this practice is that if you are going to spend more than a few minutes with someone, call them or meet them in person. Thus, you can avoid staring at a screen for a long time.
- Practice these simple quick exercises: Spend ten minutes every day to practice the exercises demonstrated in this video.
Consult your eye doctor for more tips on how to tackle digital eye strain. We hope you will invest more time in keeping your eyes safer and protecting them, so you can enjoy the world through it for many years to come!