The pandemic has exploded screentime. Here’s how to keep your vision sharp.

The increased use of technology during the pandemic has taken a toll on optical health as well as mental health.

Looking at a screen all day can strain your eyes and lead to headaches, dry and tired eyes, trouble focusing and more. It can be hard to take care of our eyes when screens take up so much of our lives, and products that claim to protect your eyes, such as blue light glasses, might not actually help. 

Dr. Stephen Nichols of Kansas City Eye Clinic recommends using specific techniques to preserve the health of your eyes. 

“Our lives are so dependent on screens that it can be hard to set a daily limit (or stick to it),” Nichols says. “Rather than set a daily limit, I recommend that patients who need to be on a screen for longer time periods should follow the 20/20/20 rule.” 

“Every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds,” Nichols says.

He also recommends keeping your eyeglass prescription up to date, using artificial tears a few times during the workday and using workstation ergonomics, which include keeping your screen at arm’s length, away from any glare and fifteen to twenty degrees below your line of sight. 

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