How to combat eye irritation from increased screen time

Local News

More complaints about eye strain are turning up as more people work and learn from home in front of a computer screen.

Frequent headaches and eye problems are common from using computers and cell phones extensively.

Margaret Phillips, an optometrist in Davenport, said it is important to take breaks from the devices and to follow the 20-20-20 rule. 

“Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, while looking at something 20 feet away,” she said. 

“We also encourage patients to blink frequently while they are taking those breaks, as screens decrease our blink rate by about 70%, which can cause an increase in dryness and irritation.”

She says using blue light filters on devices can help headaches, and also said corrective lenses that reflect blue light can be helpful. 

Adjusting the position of the monitor can also help decrease eye fatigue. 

“Your monitor should be about arms length away, and slightly below eye-level” she said. 

Glare is also something to consider. 

“Move your monitor away from bright overhead lighting. Move it away from a window if possible,” she said. 

She said individuals should limit their screen time outside of work and school purposes to decrease exposure to blue light. 

If you are having issues with headaches, blurred vision or eye aches, Phillips said to consult an optometrist for a customized eyecare plan.

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