All of that time engrossed in backlit liquid crystal displays of some type or another can put a tremendous strain on your vision, and have lasting consequences for your long-term eye health. Thankfully, you don't have to live a Luddite existence and simply abandon technology.
Here are five tips from Dr. Anshel to help you maintain your vision health and avoid "digital eye":
1. 3 B's: Blink, Breathe, and Break. When looking at a computer or handheld digital device you blink two to three times less than you normally would. This can often lead to "dry eye". That may seem like something inconsequential, but in reality--for power digital users--can lead to permanent vision damage.
2. The 20/20/20 Rule. While working on the computer, reading your iPad, Kindle, etc., every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to allow your eyes to refocus.
3. Consult your Doctor. Let your eye doctor know if you are a "power user" of handheld devices. Your eye doctor may provide you with a separate lens prescription for digital devices, to lower eye strain and avoid permanent damage. One pair of glasses or one prescription may not fit all.
4. Get an annual eye exam. The only way to gauge the impact of using an iPad, iPod or other handheld device is to get a year-over-year look at your eye health.
5. Monitor Lighting. Make sure you are in a well lit room, or outside. Eye strain is often a function of lighting. Glare, and low light can really hurt your eyes, and when you are looking at a digital device the back-lighting of the device combined with the room's lighting could be very detrimental.
Feb 26, 2010