How to Avoid Screen Fatigue

Smartphones, computers and tablets have been a staple in everyday life for a couple of decades now and have gradually evolved into a mandatory component in both work and recreational activities. With lockdowns and office restrictions becoming the norm due to Covid-19, many are forced to hunch over their desks at home and work without interruptions. Binge watching shows and playing video games also extends one’s daily screen time and finding an opportunity to take a break has never been harder. Such strain on the eyes is nothing to scoff at; so here’s how you can avoid screen fatigue.

What is Screen Fatigue?

Technically identified as asthenopia, screen fatigue is an ocular strain that comes from either long term screen exposure or strain when trying to adapt to dim lighting. Symptoms are as follows:

• Pain around the eyes

• Headache

• Blurred vision

• Dried/Watery eyes

• Sensitivity to light

• Soreness

• Vertigo

• Difficulty keeping eyes open

• Eye twitching

Other strenuous activities like driving for too long or reading can also cause this, but screens tend to be the most difficult to avoid. Once experiencing these symptoms, it is crucial to pace yourself and take a few hours break, as if this is prolonged, risk factors would include nearsightedness, farsightedness, nausea, viral conjunctivitis (pink eye) and presbyopia. Some of these side effects are long term and it is best to refrain by following these steps:

Resting Eyes/Taking Breaks: The 20-20-20 rule could be your best bet to keep your eyes fresh when you’re grinding away at work for hours on end. How this works is that for every 20 minutes of work, you could look at something in the distance that’s about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It’s a neat little rule that will keep you accountable and will help you in the long run.

Blinking More Often: This sounds like a no-brainer at first, but the more you think about it, the more difficult it could be to maintain this. Conditioning yourself to blink more often when looking at the screen is basically revamping your screen-viewing habits – which can seem like a tall order. The benefits of doing this is to keep your eyes fresh and moist, instead of letting dry out when you’re in the middle of making swift, regular glances at your monitor.

Monitor Distance: The necessity of this can easily be underestimated, but having the proper monitor slightly below eye level is incredibly important to ensure that your eyes are looking forward at all times without disrupting your posture. Ideally, your screen should be an arm’s length from the screen to minimise eye movement at longer distances. If your desk is at an unconventional height, having an adjustable chair would be the perfect solution.

Screen Settings: Lighting can make and break your threshold when looking at your screen for extended periods of time. Having your screen too bright or too dark will put the most immediate amount of strain on your eyes. An ideal benchmark would be to have consistent lighting in your room (again, not too dim or bright) that will complement the brightness of your screen so that your peripherals are exposed to the same intensity as your screen.

Source: United News of Bangladesh