What Is Screen Fatigue?
Screen fatigue is simply eye discomfort caused by staring at a screen for an extended period. According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, we blink 66% less when using computers or mobile devices.
Blinking fewer results in a decrease in the flow of tears and mucus to the eyes, which is responsible for preventing dry eyes. As a result of fewer blinking coupled with blue light, our eyes get dry, irritated, and red, resulting in screen fatigue.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Screen Fatigue?
Screen fatigue is not a severe problem if appropriate measures are taken at the right time. Otherwise, it will be painful and unpleasant. The following are the common symptoms of screen fatigue.
- - Dry or watery eyes
- - Tired or itchy eyes
- - Vertigo
- - Sore or burning eyes
- - Double vision or blurry vision
- - Frequent headaches and eye pain
- - Nausea
- - Inability to keep eyes open or stay focused
- - Shoulder, back, and neck pain
- - Increased sensitivity to light
If you are experiencing any of the abovementioned symptoms, you should follow the instructions below immediately.
How to Reduce Screen Fatigue?
Screen fatigue is a rising issue, and the best way to escape it is to avoid using digital devices. But, let's be realistic; it's impossible. However, we can take measures to minimize it, and the most effective ways include the following:
Wear Computer Glasses
Blue light is the true culprit of screen fatigue. It also causes many eye problems, including macular degeneration, sleeplessness, and blindness. It is, therefore, critical to protect your eyes from it, and the best way to do so is to wear computer glasses.
Computer glasses feature anti-glare lenses that filter out blue light emitted by electronics such as desktops and televisions. This emission keeps blue light from entering your eyes, reducing or preventing screen fatigue and other eye disorders.
Lubricate Your Eyes
It is critical to keep your eyes moist, especially when working, to avoid dry eyes and, eventually, screen fatigue. As a result, you must blink more often to produce tears that will perform the job. For immediate relief, ask your eye care professional to prescribe an over-the-counter eye drop, often known as artificial tears.
Limit the Glare
Glare adds to screen fatigue; therefore, you should take steps to minimize it. Here are a few suggestions that might help you out:
Upgrade to a bigger display. Also, position the monitor at least 20 to 26 inches away and at a height that allows you to see the center of the screen without sitting up too straight or hunching. Lastly, avoid placing your workstation near a window since outside light may reflect and increase your glare exposure.
Adjust the display brightness, font size, contrast, and color temperature to make it easy on your eyes and avoid or aggravate screen fatigue.
Lighting is another factor that contributes to the screen fatigue. Reduce glare from outside light sources by painting the walls brightly, using shades and drapes, and replacing fluorescent lights with soft white LED light bulbs or table lamps.
Perform Eye Exercises
When you do eye exercises, you relax the muscles inside your eyes that are crucial for keeping you focused, such as when you're working on a laptop. The 20-20-20 rule is the best eye workout. The concept is to take a break every 20-minute to stare 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Improve the Indoor Air Quality
Both dry air and smoking cause dry eyes, the most prevalent symptom of screen fatigue. Use a humidifier to moisten the interior air, and position or modify the fan or thermostat settings to avoid direct air blowing on your face. To prevent dry eyes, it is also critical not to smoke or be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Be Cautious About Food and Water
Healthy eyes are more immune to the harmful effects of blue light and other causes of screen fatigue. Therefore, eating healthily and including vital nutrients in your diet is strongly advised. Omega-3-rich foods include nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and so forth.
Consume beta-carotene-rich leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. These meals promote the formation of macular pigments, which restrict up to 80% of the blue light that tries to penetrate the retina. In addition, drink at least eight glasses of water daily since dehydration causes dry, itchy eyes and screen fatigue.
Take Frequent Breaks
Take a break every one to two hours to take a short walk and stretch your body. In addition to easing screen fatigue, this will help prevent developing back pain and spondylosis from sitting too long.
Words of Wisdom
Start implementing these tips quickly, whether or not you suffer from screen fatigue. This will help you preserve your eyes and avoid issues in the long run. It is also a good idea to see an eye doctor once a year and get a comprehensive eye test to maintain track of and preserve your eye health.