Five Tips to Reduce Eye Strain

14 June 2022


Struggling with eye strain, blurred vision or headaches? It may be eye fatigue caused by increased screen time. 

Two years ago, COVID-19 changed our lives. Before we knew what was happening, many of us started working from home. Life quickly turned digital in other ways as school, work and social interactions – such as happy hour, games nights and family celebrations – started happening online. 

It’s no surprise to learn that TV viewing, internet usage, and video game participation also increased. According to Stats Canada, internet traffic grew by 40 to 60 per cent during the spring 2020 global lockdown period. Streaming services also saw an increase in new registrations. The result – a large increase in screen time and a higher chance of having eye issues. 

What can you do? 

Here are five tips to help reduce eye strain due to increased screen time:

  1.  Give your eyes a rest. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. Try to complete this task at regular intervals throughout the day, if possible.
  2.  Take micro-breaks away from your computer screen. Give your eyes a break and use the opportunity to get up and stretch. 
  3.  Make your breaks tech free. Eat your lunch at your kitchen table, not in front of your computer.
  4.  Alternate how you complete your work. If possible, substitute digital with paper and pen. Using paper or a whiteboard can give your eyes a rest from the computer screen.
  5.  Get outdoors and exercise during the day, such as taking a walk at lunch. Getting some fresh air, exercise and a change of scenery can provide positive physical and mental benefits, as well as give your afternoon the boost it may need. Also, try not to revert to another screen after work (i.e., television, personal computer or your phone). Get outdoors or participate in an activity that does not require being online.

Screen time affects many aspects of our well-being, whether it be for work, school or leisure time. However, we can make changes to limit the amount of time in front of a screen. Take note of what your patterns are and the possible steps you can take to reduce your screen time. You will feel the benefits.

What will you try?