3 Ways to Keep Computer Screens from Ruining Your Eyes
Three experts offer tips to help you overcome a nagging issue. This month: "I stare at screens—TVs, computers, phones—all day, and it's killing my eyes. Help!"
Use the 20-20-20 Rule
We blink up to two-thirds less often per minute when looking at a screen, which can dry out our eyes
, causing irritation. To help maintain a healthy level of moisture and reduce eyestrain, get in the habit of looking at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
—Mark Rosenfield, PhD, professor of clinical education at the State University of New York College of Optometry
Find Your Type
Times New Roman may be your default font, but onscreen its curvy design with tiny tails on the ends of letters, called serifs, may slow word recognition and force you to stare harder and longer, contributing to eye fatigue. Fonts like Arial and Verdana, which have more space between letters, can make words appear crisper and easier to read from farther away, taxing your vision less.
—James Sheedy, PhD, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University College of Optometry
Clean Your Screens
Anytime we view an image up close, our eyes have to cross inward to bring it into focus. When screens are covered with fingerprint smudges, dust, and dirt, focusing becomes even more difficult and, over time, can strain eyes and lead to chronic headaches. Wipe your most-used screens daily with a microfiber cloth to get rid of grime.
—Peter Shaw-McMinn, assistant professor of clinical studies at the Southern California College of Optometry
Next: Could "the computer hunch" be causing you pain?
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.