Considering the ubiquity of electronic screens in the modern world, it should come as no surprise that problems with the eyes are becoming extremely common.
Indeed, eye issues related to prolonged screen time has led the American Optometric Association to recognize Computer Vision Syndrome as a real medical disorder.
Taking proactive steps to protect your visual health has never been more crucial. Let's go through three easy ways you can protect your eyes from the negative impacts of electronic screens both at work and at home.
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
One of the easiest strategies you could incorporate into your daily routine for optimal eye health is the 20-20-20 rule. To practice this rule, all you have to do is look at least 20 feet away from your computer screen for 20 seconds after you've been staring at a screen for about 20 minutes.
Although it sounds simple, this strategy will greatly reduce symptoms of Digital Eye Strain. This exercise requires no extra equipment and can be done anywhere. Resting for 20 seconds will give your eyes time to naturally re-moisturize, which will stave off symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Setting a timer on your phone for every 20 minutes will help remind you to practice this useful rule until it becomes a habit.
Consider Dietary Changes & Supplements
You've probably seen a few TV ads boasting the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids before. Did you know omega-3s have a profound impact on visual health? Especially if you're prone to dry eye symptoms, seriously consider adding more omega-3 rich foods to your diet. Foods especially rich in omega-3s include wild-caught salmon, eggs, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sardines. You could also purchase omega-3 fatty acid supplements if you don't care for any of those foods.
Two other compounds that have been shown to have a great impact on eye health include lutein and zeaxanthin. Many scientists now believe these carotenoids are critical for protecting our eyes from harmful blue light emitted by electronic screens. The best food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are deep green veggies like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, but you could get them into your diet through beets, dandelion tea, and corn. Of course, there are also lutein and zeaxanthin supplements now available in most health food stores.
Ask About Special Contacts
To meet the increasing demand for various eye symptom relief, many contact lens manufacturers are now making lenses specifically designed to help with these problems like re-moisturize the eyes. One popular option is using daily disposable lenses (aka dailies). As the name suggests, these lenses are designed to be used for only one day at a time. The fact that wearers only use their lenses once per day reduces the risk of bacterial infection and the discomfort of accumulating lipid deposits.
Be sure to talk with your eye doctor about what eye contacts or glasses would work best for your working conditions and eye problems. Also, ensure you get a proper contact lens fitting so you won't need to strain at work or at home. In addition to recommending different lenses, your optometrist could help you figure out the best liquid solution, eye drops, and supplements for your eye issues. Whatever your eye lens choice, remember to consult your doctor regularly and do everything you can to help your eyes be the best they can be.
Additional Resource: Omega3s & Sleep