7 tips to prevent eye-strain from too much screen time

OUCH - We don't know about you, but our eyes hurt!

With face to face meetings now taking place virtually; what would be normal office chatter now being sent via phone message or email, then our standard evening entertainment at home being Netflix and chill; it’s easy to say that we are being exposed to much more screen time than we would normally (even then our screen time exposure might have still been quite high! shhhhh).

Let’s break it down. Say we are working a typical home office day of around 7 hours looking at our computers, on our phones 2 hours and watching TV 3 hours, that’s a total of 12 hours a day of screen time. Over 5 working days that’s 60 hours of screen time! This is just a typical example, of course this will vary from person to person and individual circumstances.

We have heard stories from many of our beloved Herparaders that they are actually working longer hours since being home. Even just one extra hour of screen time a day can add up and have an impact on the health of our eyes.

Given that there is still no clear date when we will be able to resume our ‘normal’ lives, it might be useful to implement some practices now, to help you keep you as well as your eyes stay happy and healthy. 

Below we provide some tips on maintaining your eye health given the current possibly unnoticed or silent challenge of having extra screen time.

Too much screen time can lead to dry eyes because we tend to blink less looking at a screen, eye strain and headaches.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following:

1/ Keep your distance from your screen monitor. Stay about one arm’s length away (25 inches). Our eyes have to do more work to see close up than far away. If you are using a laptop, this is still possible if you position your touchpad a bit further away than normal. Or you can consider connecting a screen monitor and separate key board to your laptop so you can position the screen further away.

2/ Reduce screen glare. Glare is caused by bright light reflected from the screen. To stop any glare, you can get a matte screen filter. As to which filters are most effective, we will leave you to decide!

3/ Adjust your room lighting or your screen contrast. If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Try adjusting your room lighting to make sure you have enough light or increase the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain. If you don’t have enough room lighting, consider placing a lamp on the table close to your computer screen, to add more lighting around your screen.

4/ Every once and a while, look into the distance. Here every once in a while means every 20 mins. By doing this you are giving your eyes a much needed break and a bit of time to relax. Look away for at least 20 secounds.

5/ Keep your eyes moist and avoid dry eyes. To do this you can purchase artificial tears.

6/ Limit screen time one to two hours before sleeping. Out of all of the above, this is the biggest challenge of all, especially in regards to our mobile phones. Perhaps we want to say good night to a loved one before sleep or we check social media before sleep. If you’re finding it hard to ‘switch off’ then at least make sure you have the “blue light filter” activated on your phone. This will stop Blue light emitting from your phone, which is said to affect our body’s circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep.

7/ Massage your eyes gently with an effective eye massage technique. To avoid eyestrain or to help reduce the eye-strain you are feeling, try to message your eyes to provide some relieve. We went digging on YouTube and found this simple and easy to do massage:

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Stay happy, healthy and safe,

In the name of confidence, 

Herparade team x

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