(WHTM) — You may have noticed that you are staring at a screen a lot more than you used to, especially if you are still working from home, and that can impact your eyes.
“We know that when people use screens for long periods of time, and if we’re reading or really paying close attention to anything, we kind of stop blinking. And so it’s very common, especially as people have more of their meetings moved to computers and spend more time looking at a laptop, that we did see more dry eye complaints,” said Dr. Craig See, an opthalmologist with the Cleveland Clinic.
See says dry eyes can cause symptoms like redness, blurry vision, and itchiness. Many people also seem to notice the issue more towards the afternoon or end of the day after they have been looking at a screen for a while. The good news is dry eyes usually won’t cause any kind of long-term damage.
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To protect your eyes, See says to make sure you have a comfortable work setup, for one thing. The top of your computer or laptop should be at eye level with you, and you may want to consider getting a bigger monitor that sits farther away so you don’t have to focus so intently on your screen.
See also suggests using the 20-20-20 rule: “Every 20 minutes of screen time or reading, take a 20-second break and look at something that is at least 20 feet away. And during that time, you’ll find that you are blinking a lot more, you’re relaxing your eyes a lot more, and that will help out with some of the eye strain issues that people encounter.”
See says you could also use artificial tear drops or a warm compress on your face if you notice your eyes are really starting to dry out. If that doesn’t work, he suggests going to see your physician.