Preventing Eye Strain: Tips and Tricks From Optometrists

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As we spend more time in front of screens, eye strain has become an increasingly common problem. Eye strain caused by digital screens can lead to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and a feeling of fatigue. Optometrists like Stephen Henry, recommend taking steps to prevent eye strain in order to maintain good eye health.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered tips and tricks from optometrists to help you reduce eye strain and promote eye health. These tips are especially important for those who work on computers for extended periods of time or spend a lot of time using mobile devices. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your digital devices without the discomfort of eye strain.

Take Regular Breaks

If you frequently experience dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, or neck pain, you may be suffering from eye strain. One effective strategy for preventing eye strain is to take regular breaks from your screen. Optometrists recommend taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking away from your screen.

During this time, shift your focus to something a little farther away, like an object across the room, or take the time to enjoy the benefits of cold compresses for eyes. This brief respite from screen time can help reduce eye fatigue and prevent eye strain.

Adjust Your Screen

One effective way to prevent eye strain is to adjust your screen settings. Optometrists suggest that you position your screen at a distance that allows comfortable reading or viewing, and adjust the brightness, size, and contrast of your screen to minimize eye strain.

Dimming your display’s background or using a blue light filter can also reduce glare and minimize harmful blue light exposure, which can cause long-term damage to your eyes. Adjusting your screen settings may seem like a small step, but it can have a significant impact on reducing eye strain and promoting healthy vision in the long run.

Adjust the Lighting in the Room

Too little light can strain your eyes as you squint to make out the text on your screen, while overly bright light can cause glare and increase eye fatigue. Experts recommend that you adjust the lighting in your workspace to match the level of light on your computer screen.

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Ideally, the lighting should be diffused, and the brightness of the computer screen adjusted to match the ambient light in the room. You may also want to consider using task lighting, such as a desk lamp, to provide additional illumination in your workspace.

Wear the Right Glasses

Outdated prescriptions can strain the eyes and lead to headaches and discomfort. Additionally, anti-reflective coatings can help reduce glare and digital blue light that comes from electronic devices, reducing the amount of strain on the eyes. If you do not need prescription glasses, consider investing in glasses with blue light-blocking lenses, which can also help alleviate eye strain caused by prolonged screen time.

Get Regular Eye Exams

As recommended by the American Optometric Association (AOA), adults between the ages of 18 and 60 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years. Individuals above the age of 60 are encouraged to get one annually. In addition, if you have a family history of eye diseases or vision problems, it’s best to get your eyes checked more frequently by a trusted optometrist.

Regular eye exams allow optometrists to check for signs of eye strain and other potential issues, such as dry eye syndrome or glaucoma, which could contribute to eye strain symptoms. They can also prescribe special glasses or contact lenses, if necessary, to help reduce eye strain and improve visual clarity.


Eye strain can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and is increasingly common among those who spend long hours working on computers or using mobile devices. To reduce the risk of developing eye strain, it’s important to follow these tips: take regular breaks, adjust your screen settings, adjust the lighting in the room, use the right glasses when needed, and get regular eye exams. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of developing eye strain and promote healthy vision in the long run.