Eye fatigue

If you’ve felt that nagging pain behind your eyes after staring at your digital devices all day, you’ve probably experienced it, too. Often, it manifests in the form of:

  • Achy, tired, itchy, burning, dry, or watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble keeping your eyes open
  • Heightened light sensitivity
  • Headaches, especially a dull ache around your eyes.

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Is Too Much Screen Time Giving You Eye Fatigue?

hbr.org

  • The main culprit of eye fatigue is blue light. The devices we use — phones, tablets, laptops, TV, or even LEDs and fluorescent lighting — emit a strong blue light. 
  • Eye fatigue isn’t limited to screen exposure; it can also happen if you’re reading a book for long hours.
  • When you view something up close, a muscle inside your eye — known as the ciliary muscle — contracts and changes the shape of your lens to help you focus and see clearly. This function is called accommodation. After hours of being contracted, that muscle gets tired and begins to ache.

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  • Put more space between yourself and your computer screen. The monitor should be about 25 inches away from your face. This will also help with your posture.
  • Tilt your screen slightly downwards. This can help reduce glare, which often contributes to eye strain. You can also use a blue-light-blocking screen cover for your laptop or wear glasses that block blue light to help reduce any glare. 
  • As you work, check your screen’s brightness and compare it to the lighting around you.
  • Set your devices’ night-time preferences to warm (or get yellow-lens glasses).
  • When you’re working on a laptop, take a break every 20 minutes. Look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a chance to relax.

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