You Need To Blink More

March is Save Your Vision Month. 

I’ve been staring at a screen since 7am. 

Because of the shock to my typical work from home routine, I didn’t even put on my blue light glasses today. Despite the science behind blue light being controversial, I can often tell through the quality of my sleep whether I wore the glasses on a particular day. 

As COVID-19 forces us to change our daily behavior, I’m anticipating a huge uptick in screen time. I’ve tried to limit the time on my phone through screen time bets (you can read about the first one here and here). But as for the television and computer, my screens stay active for an egregious amount of time throughout the day. 

Plus, all our screen-less distractions are being stripped from us. In the immediate future, we have no sporting events, no broadway shows, concerts, or conferences. There are no happy hours or cocktail receptions. No board game nights or museum tours.

That leaves us with few alternatives for all our commute-less leisure time. And… a lot of those alternatives are going to involve a screen. 

So should I be thinking about my eyes? 

Computer Vision Syndrome is a real thing. 

From the American Optometric Association, “computer vision syndrome, also referred to as digital eye strain, describes a group of eye and vision related-problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell-phone use.” 

According to the AOA, diagnosing digital eye strain can be done through a comprehensive eye examination, but if you’re around screens a lot, you’ll recognize some symptoms. 

Eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. 

Of course, having these symptoms is not a direct sign of digital eye strain, but there’s a chance your screen time is playing a role. I know personally after a long day I can feel the dryness overtaking my eyeballs. 

So what can we try and do to avoid digital eye strain, despite increasing screen time? 


Seriously. Blink more and blink correctly

“Blinking cleans the ocular surface of debris and flushes fresh tears over the ocular surface. This brings nutrients and other substances to the surface structures keeping them healthy. It helps prevent infection and clears and brightens the image received by our retina.” 

But also, the AOA recommends the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

Here’s a fun video I found. And some more resources about combatting digital eye strain from the AOA. 

There are a lot of things preoccupying our minds right now. But take time to seek expert opinions. Do not take your advice from Kenny Chesney. 

Seriously people, just blink. 


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