Tuesday, November 10th, 2020...1:54 pm

How to reduce eye strain

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By: Georgia Maxwell, Gradlife Ambassador

eyes drawn onto a piece of paper with pink glasses sitting on top

Between zoom class, reading, research and writing, my poor eyes barely get a break from staring at a screen. By the end of the day, my eyes are so tired I can’t bear to look at anything bright or pixelated; including TV. That’s right, my eye strain has gotten so bad I no longer want to watch TV (I mean, I still do, but it’s a struggle). As Grad students, I’m sure none of this is a surprise to you, and your eyes probably feel just as tired as mine. So for this week’s post I did a bit of research into the best ways to reduce eye strain and give our eyes a break.

Please keep in mind that I am by no means a doctor, or an eye specialist of any kind. I’m just a girl with tired eyes who turned to google to solve her problems, just like I do with everything else in my life.

1. Exercise your eyes

I gave up on quarantine work outs long ago, but I think even I can handle this. You can give your eyes a break, and strengthen them at the same time, by looking away from your computer every 20 minutes and focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. I have ingeniously named this the 20-20-20 rule and I’m sure I am the first.

an open computer with a piece of paper in front of it that reads "20 minutes- 20 feet- for 20 seconds."

2. Switch to glasses

If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing glasses when you’re staring at your screen. Even though I am an avid contact wearer, I’ve started to wear my glasses during zoom classes and it has really helped my eyes. If you have blue lenses in your prescription glasses, or non-prescription blue light glasses, this is also very helpful.

3. Blink more often

Apparently, when you stare at a screen you blink less than you normally do—who knew! This causes your eyes to get dry and irritated. Making a concerted effort to blink more often can help keep your eyes nice and non-dry (notice I avoided saying “moist”).

4. Take Frequent Breaks

This is a good reminder not only for your eyes, but for your focus too! Check out my earlier post about the Pomodoro Technique, which helps you manage your time and focus by having you work for 25 minutes, and then break for 5.  

girl with her head down on her desk next to her laptop

5. Keep your computer an arm’s length from your face

I found this one on Web MD so you know it’s legit.

6. Screen brightness is key

Much like goldilocks, the brightness of your screen should be just right. It should be about the same brightness as the room you’re in; not darker nor lighter.

Hope my post has given you some new ways to give your eyes a break. If you have any tips for how you take care of your eyes, let me know in the comments below! And if you want to check out some more ways to reduce eye-strain, check out these articles I pulled my super scientific tips from:



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