Four Tips for Eye Health in Today’s Digital World

Americans spend a whopping 4 hours and 25 minutes each day on their mobile devices. That doesn’t even include the time spent watching television, working on a computer, or other digital screens. It’s official: We live in a digital world. Unfortunately, your eye health can suffer from all of the increased time on digital devices. Though minimizing screen time is the most obvious solution, it isn’t necessarily the easiest. However, these tips can help keep your eyes healthy.

1) Adjust computer position

If you view your screen too close to your eyes, you’re risking straining your vision. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 40 inches from the eye to the screen. If reading from that distance is difficult, most smartphones and computer screens allow you to adjust the text size, which can help, especially if your device has a with smaller screen.

Likewise, if your screen is higher than eye level, you could be straining your eyes unnecessarily. That’s because a muscle outside of the eye is used to facilitate reading when monitors are above eye level. Eyes naturally need to come down and in versus around and up, so position your screens to your eye level or below.

2) Adjust computer and workplace lighting

Your screen’s brightness and sharpness should be maximized to best match your surroundings and maintain a similarity to the environment around you. When lighting your workspace, natural light is the ideal option. Also, traditional incandescent lightbulbs are kinder to eyes than their fluorescent counterparts.

3) Look away from your screen   

A two-pound weight is easy to hold at first. However, eventually, your arm will become strained from holding it. The same goes for eyes looking at a screen. To give your eyes relief, use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away or more for at least 20 seconds. This exercise forces muscles to relax and increases blinking.

 4) Prevent dry eye

Between screen time, air-conditioning and artificial lighting, dry eye is a major issue. Dry eye can start off as a minor annoyance, but can lead to redness, discomfort, increased risk of infection, and more. Artificial tears and getting plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help to reduce dry eye.

As use of digital devices continues to increase among people of all ages, keeping your eye health in mind is increasingly important. Another important step to make sure your eyes remain healthy is with regular checkups with your eye doctor. NCRGEA and AMBA offer an affordable Vision Plan. The plan provides comprehensive coverage with low copays for important services, including coverage for a WellVision exam every 12 months, as well as big savings on eyewear, contacts, and lenses. Sign up now at or call 800-956-1228.