These days, we spend a lot of our time at home, glued to screens of our devices, looking for the latest news, watching movies, texting and browsing the net. And our eyes get really, really tired. After looking at the screen for hours, we feel the screen fatigue symptoms, so-called “computer eye fatigue”, which includes annealing, burning, difficulty in sharpening the image, “sand” in the eyes, redness, increased tearing or dryness of the eyes, headache, tiredness, etc.
That means our eyes are tired and our minds fed up with the screen.
What is screen fatigue?
Are your eyes tired, sore or swollen? Do you notice these symptoms after spending an extended period of time in front of a screen? Maybe you feel tired in the eyes after replying to a series of text messages on your phone? In this case, you may have screen fatigue.
Screen fatigue is a temporary eye condition caused by long continuous periods of staring at a computer screen. Some symptoms of screen fatigue are headache, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye fatigue, irritated and dry eyes, and problems in re-focusing the eyes.
What causes screen fatigue?
Screen fatigue is caused by a reduced frequency of blinking while working on the computer for a long time. The normal frequency of blinking is 16 to 20 times per minute. Studies have shown that the frequency of blinking is reduced to 6 to 8 blinks per minute for people working at a computer. It dries the eyes.
Here is what you can do if you have screen fatigue:
9 ways to rest your eyes and your mind
1. Few minutes of looking into the distance
Have a breather! Step away from the computer every 30 minutes and look intentionally into the distance for a few minutes. Let’s say out the window. It will help relieve the pressure and reset your mind. You will feel better and your eyes will be rested.
And at least once a day do stretching exercises. That will greatly reduce eye fatigue. Yoga helps, as well as any kind of body activity that will shake your body and stretch your limbs. You can find a lot of good exercises like this one to try on Youtube.
3. Keep an eye out for lighting
Where is your screen in relation to the source of light? It is important not to work in the dark or in a darkened area, but make sure that the light is not too high because the bright light causes it to glow. Position the monitor so that the windows of the room are on the side, not in front of or behind the monitor.
Rub your palms quickly until you warm them up and place them over your closed eyes (so your palms do not touch your eyes). Feel the warmth coming out of your palms. Sit still in this position and slow your breathing. Such relaxation soothes both the eyes and the body. Do this at least three times a day for 6 minutes or when you want to rest your eyes.
5. Apply Rule 20-20-20
The screen should be 20 inches (about 50 cm) apart. Take a break from looking at your screen every 20 minutes, look at a point that is 20 feet (6 meters) away, and keep your eyes on for 20 seconds.
6. Moisten the eye
For dry eye symptoms, the so-called artificial tears in the form of eye drops. There are also gel preparations that are put into the lower eyelid just before bedtime, which moisturizes the eye to help epithelialization. If you don’t have any at hand, maybe you have a tea bag of chamomile you can massage your closed eyelids with after making the tea.
7. Change your glasses
Reading glasses are also not suitable for working on a computer because the distance from the computer monitor is greater. In addition, the glasses should allow you to grasp your desk and surroundings with minimal head and eye movements. Progressive goggles that allow you to look at three distances or goggles with so-called Business glasses are ideal for working on your computer.
8. Consult an ophthalmologist
An ophthalmologist will reliably determine if the eye disorders are related solely to computer work or whether it is an eye disease that requires therapy. Explain to the ophthalmologist how often and from what distance you work on your computer to help you do the best to keep your eyes healthy.
9. Take a break
Using a computer rarely changes the position of the head and eyes, which can be very tedious, so occasional rest is important for the eyes to recover.
The pandemic is making everybody anxious. But that doesn’t mean we should give in to panic and ignore our overall health. This will pass. When it does, make sure you spent some of your time at home doing things you love and talking to your loved ones. As for the screen, you can get away from it. The world won’t end. Rest your eyes and take care of your body. All will be well.