These days, the use of computers and even cellphones is unavoidable. Almost everyone uses a computer or phone screen on a daily basis. Imagine the number of digital artists, coders, copywriters, web developers… almost every type of work out there requires constant contact with a digital screen.

Besides inducing feelings of isolation, this lifestyle also damages our health. The posture we take while sitting on our laptops is loosening our necks and backs, while the emitted light is damaging our eyesight. This is why we put together some helpful tips on protecting your eyes while looking at a computer screen:

How Do I Protect My Eyes While Looking at A Computer Screen?

The Rule of 20 & Frequent Blinking

All of us have been in situations where deadlines approach and work needs to be done ASAP. This results in non-stop looking at the screen. To relieve folks from pain and blurriness, optometrists suggested the rule of 20s: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away at least for 20 seconds. With shifting perception depth, our eye muscles relax and get the needed rest.

Apart from this rule, you should also blink as frequently as possible to increase wetness inside your eye sack. Dry eyes are very common for long lasting computer usage and result in redness, irritation, blurriness and headaches.

Ideal Work Station

“Don’t stand too close to the TV” – one of the most heard sentences of our childhoods, and our parents were right. Looking at a digital screen too close or too far makes it harder for our eyes to focus. The ideal distance is 20 to 24 inches. Our necks are also vulnerable and to protect them as well the center of the screen should be put 10 to 15 inches below the eyes. If you have the urge to come closer to the screen, schedule an eye exam since it may be a sign for vision damage.

Ideal Computer

Another thing you should also take in mind is reflection and screen brightness. The screen shouldn’t be facing or reflecting any outside light like sunshine and bulbs; so don’t place it across windows and mirrors. When it comes to the ideal screen, in the control panel there are adjustment of its brightness, contrast and color temperature. Take the liberty to adjust the computer to your preferences rather than the other way around. Some people also decide to buy better screens with higher quality and resolution. Screens with better resolution show sharper images and make easier for our eyes to focus and recognize objects.

What About Blue Light?

When you adjust the color temperature, know that it stands for visible light spectrum emitted by a display. Some of those light waves are more dangerous than others and we happen to be most vulnerable to blue light. The best ways for protection are eyewear and computer wear. Protective eyewear has lenses which don’t let blue light to enter our eyes. Computer wear or a blue-light blocking screen protectors accomplishes the same thing, but it is put on the computer and stops blue light from being emitted in the first place. They cost to about $50 and can be found on Amazon.

Nature & Eye Exams

To fully maintain a balance between computer usage and health, you should go in nature as much as you can. Natural colors relax and soothe the eyes, the revitalize our health and mental stability. If you can, take 15 minute breaks each two hours and spend them around trees and flowers. Apart from nature walks, if you are a frequent computer user annual appointments at the optometrist are necessary since this way you keep track of your eyes’ health and prevent more complicated damage from occurring.

You can also read about Do Phones Damage Your Eyes?