Care of our eyes and preservation of our sight is essential if we wish to live and work well in our current tech-connected world. Plus, our year in the safety of our COVID caves, called on our eyes to perform to the max as we all huddled around any number of blue light-emitting screens. Combined, they kept us sane, social, and solvent, hopefully. Now, how to care for this precious resource?
You might start, as I did, with a comprehensive, eye exam at your optometrist. In this post, Dr. Janey Yee @180 Optometry and Eye Wear answered questions I wanted to share with you about issues and eye care that we must know, given the intensity of screen use we are committed to since COVID accelerated our dependency on them.
A colleague laughs at my COVID-inspired code for too much time spent creating content for clients, sitting in on video meetings, and researching online. I call it frying my eyeballs. I’m not proud of it. I do my best to keep the cookery to a minimum. But what can we do?
No matter your choice of device or the technology we use to work, to socialize, to learn, or to seek escapist entertainment – we can’t stop. Can we?
When the world opened Pandora’s pandemic box, we submitted to continuous connection. Even more than BCV – the time before COVID-19.
Here’s Dr. Janey Yee’s professional take on how to dial back the discomfort and lavish some love on our eyes:
Dr. Yee, what do we need to know? Most of us have spent the past year tied to the screen for solo as well as group work, plus those long, live meetings we must attend, or even lead, aren’t going away any time soon.
Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods of time, a phenomenon referred to as “computer vision syndrome” (CVS) in the early days from just computer use. More recently, the term “digital eye strain” (DES), encompasses the symptoms arising from using any digital device.
CVS or DES symptoms include:
- Eye fatigue
- Itchy eyes
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Difficulty refocusing from one distance to another
- Red eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Gritty feeling eyes
- Neck/lower back/shoulder pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye strain
So what can we do? Electronic devices are everywhere and we can’t just disconnect!!
For starters, we can change our digital habits to ease and alleviate some of the symptoms:
- Limit screen time and take frequent breaks This is especially important for children. Walk away from the screen and go outside to refocus on something far. It prevents your vision from being “stuck” at close range.
- Make sure desktops and laptops are about arm’s length Sitting too close to a monitor makes our eyes work harder. Arm’s length is generally a comfortable distance.
- For children, make sure their tablet or laptop is on a desk and have them sit on a chair at least 20 inches away.
- Lower your monitor
By lowering your monitor 2-3 inches below eye level, it prevents your eye muscles from working hard to see something on a monitor that is at eye level or higher.
The new Golden 20/20/20 Rule
For several years now the 20/20/20 rule has been the recommendation when it comes to taking a break from screens: For every 20 minutes of screen work, give yourself a 20-second break, looking at something
- 20 feet away. It’s a good training exercise for the eyes.
- Don’t forget to blink
- We have a tendency to stare at our screens and by doing so it dries our eyes very quickly. Frequent blinking rejuvenates our eye’s tear film and prevents dry eye symptoms.
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At this time180 Optometry continues to be open by appointment only. To ensure patient safety and enable physical distancing, appointments are spaced. Online appointment booking is easy and convenient at any time by visiting the website.
I have found email correspondence is the best way to communicate.
‘See’ you all soon, hopefully now that warmer weather is here, at a fresh outdoor air meeting with shades, not blue screens.
Contact me with questions and comments through the contact form.
Connect with our eye care expert and Vancouver Optometrist in Vancouver, British Columbia at:
- Address: 2911 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1R3
- Phone: (604) 568-5378
- @ 180 Optometry and Eyewear