Our computer, smartphone, and TV habits put our eyes under a lot of strain every day. Staring at a device that's just inches away from your face can cause pressure between the eyes and even lead to shoulder and neck pain, says Joseph Allen, OD, FAAO. Allen offers tips about eye health on his YouTube page. Recently, he posted a video detailing several ways to relieve eye strain.
You may not realize this, but your eye muscles actually develop a cramp after zoning in on your screen for hours, Allen explains. One of the best ways to combat this is by taking screen breaks. Allen suggests following the 20-20-20 rule, where you look 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds after 20 minutes of screen time.
Ensuring that your computer is the perfect height also decreases eye strain, says Allen. He recommends adjusting the height so you look just above the halfway point of your screen. This allows you to look slightly downward, which is more comfortable for your eyes while reading. However, looking directly at the center of the screen is fine if you're watching a movie or playing video games, says Allen.
Of course, you'll want to adjust your screen to avoid glare from windows or other light sources, which can make it difficult to see and cause eye strain. Allen also suggests adjusting your screen position so it is roughly an arm's length away from you.
"I like to recommend that you can be able to give a high five to your computer screen," he says.
Watch the full video for three more ways to decrease strain, including eye exercises that are clearly demonstrated in the video.
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