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Published On: June 27, 2019 by Blake Schwank

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Stress and headaches go hand-in-hand, and eye strain from focusing on your computer screen or digital devices can cause both of these symptoms to occur. Human eyes have evolved over the millennia to focus in a variety of ways, but the introduction of computers and other technology is a relatively recent development. Our eyes have not yet had time to adapt to the additional strain that can be caused by the blue light that is emitted by computers screens, tablets or our mobile phones — and having a close focal point can also be damaging to your eyes and cause stress to the sensitive ocular tissues over time. Fortunately, if you follow the simple 20-20-20 rule you might find that your tension is greatly relieved when you’re using digital devices for extended periods of time.

Causes of Eye Strain

According to healthcare professionals at the Mayo Clinic, there are a variety of ways that using a computer negatively impacts our eyes. The glare from lights bouncing off of the screen, the lack of blinking while we focus, the contrast of any text on the screen and even the flickering that your screen does that you may not even notice are all contributing factors to the stress on our eyes. Experts estimate that individuals that are engaged in non-digital activities blink their eyes approximately 15 times per minute — but less than half that amount when we are experiencing screen time.

What is the 20-20-20 Rule?

Even when you’re deep into your latest analysis (or movie on your smartphone!), it’s good to follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce the strain on your eyes. Every 20 minutes, focus on something that is at least 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to reset and rest after the stress you are placing on the muscles surrounding your eyes. Mayo Clinic professionals also recommend that you take a longer 15-minute break every 2 hours. This not only helps your eyes but allows you to kick-start your blood circulation which can prevent blood clots and other dangerous health events. Experts also recommend checking the settings on your monitor to ensure that the background light isn’t too bright, which can also negatively impact your eyes.

Keeping your eyes in top working order is crucial, especially for today’s knowledge workers who depend on their eyesight and have many more years of work ahead of them. Document holders and other adaptive devices can help reduce the number of times your eyes are having to readjust their focus in the course of your daily work. Look for ways to take extended breaks and limit screen time whenever possible. When you need help interacting with business technology or are simply looking for ways to improve your daily activities, contact the professionals at Colorado Computer Support today at 719-204-8982 for more information. We are always looking for ways to share best practices with our clients! Request a free initial consultation when you fill out our quick online form.

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