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Relieving eyestrain – Tips for students and families

Computer screens emit blue light and can contribute to eyestrain, leading to headaches and dry eyes. Below are ways to reduce the impact computer screens may have on eyes.

1)    Use a computer application that adjusts screen brightness and color 

o   F.lux is a free application that works with Mac and PC and reduces the blue light on computers. 

o   Other extensions that adjust computer brightness and blue light include Color Temperature (Change Lux)Night Shift, and Blue Light Filter Guard

 

2)    Take frequent breaks 

o   When was the last time you took a break from the screen? If it has been two hours or more, it is time to step away for a bit. The American Optometric Association recommends resting your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of screen time.

§  So grab a snack, get a drink, or take a quick walk to give your eyes a rest.
 

3)    Work in a properly lit area 

o   Make sure the lighting in your work area is appropriate for screen time. Harsh lighting from windows or fluorescent lights can increase eyestrain. 

o   If your workspace is excessively bright, try shading windows or reducing the brightness of overhead lights. Lights that more closely reflect natural sunlight are less harsh on your eyes than fluorescent light. 
 

4)    Reduce computer screen glare 

o   Glare from walls, windows, and bright lights can cause eyestrain. Close blinds and decrease the amount of light in the room to reduce glare on your screen. 

o   There are also anti-glare screen covers for computer screens to reduce glare. 
 

5)    Clean your computer display

o   Dust or residue on the computer screen can reduce its visibility sharpness. This makes it more challenging to focus on the contents of the screen.  

o   Use a microfiber cloth or computer wipe to clean any dust or fingerprints. 
 

6)    Use the 20-20-20 rule to rest your eyes 

o   The 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away.  

o   Looking at something in the distance will give your eye muscles a break and help reduce fatigue and headaches.