Experimenting in the kitchen with a new dish? Share it on social media. Want to pay your bills? Use a mobile banking bank. Want to go out for dinner? Make dinner reservations online. Start of the month? Order groceries through an app. Festive season coming close? Start shopping on e-commerce apps. Working from home? Attend meetings through a video call. From keeping in touch with friends to fulfilling work commitments, we are surrounded by digital devices.
Throughout our day, we spend a maximum of our time in front of a digital screen- smartphones, laptop or a PC. We are so used to and dependent on these digital devices that it’s impossible to spend a minute of our day without them. But with the excessive time spent on these devices, we face many other issues such as headache and digital eye strain.
Studies show that in the past ten years, the percentage of youth having glasses has doubled and the major reason behind it is excessive screen exposure. Along with stress and headache, excessive exposure to a digital screen can cause dry eyes, irritation and itching, red spots around the eyeball, blurred vision, shortsightedness and watery eyes. These small issues can escalate quickly if not treated at an early stage. Thus, it is important to maintain a screen-use discipline to keep our eyes in a good condition. The easiest and effective way to prevent digital eye strain is the 20/20/20 rule. Read ahead to know all about it.
What is the 20/20/20 rule?
The 20/20/20 rule says that for every 20 minutes spent on the screen, you should try to look at something that is 20 feet away for a total of 20 seconds. It is very common advice given by eye doctors to maintain good eye condition.
How to be sure about 20 feet away?
It is impossible to tell accurately without the help of a measuring tape that an object is at a distance of 20 feet. Well, it isn’t necessary to stare at something that is exactly 20 feet away. The point is to look at something that is far away. It can be a tree or a building across the street. If you work in confined spaces then it is advised to walk outdoors to give your eyes the rest it needs.
Why 20 seconds?
20 seconds is all it takes for your eyes to refresh and relax completely. It is also essential to keep your body hydrated because if your body is well-hydrated, your eyes will be too. It is suggested by experts that consuming green tea is beneficial for eye health. It contains antioxidants and catechins that may help your eyes produce tears for better lubrication.
How to remind yourself to follow this?
When working, playing, reading or watching something on digital screens you are oblivious of everything around. You lose track of time and spend an excessive amount of time straining your eyes. To take regular breaks and rest your eyes, you can set reminders 20 minutes apart to practice the 20/20/20 rule and relax your eyes.
Other preventive measures
The 20/20/20 rule is no doubt the best way to relax your eyes. Taking precautions while using digital devices is also essential. Here are some other measures to prevent digital eye strain you can keep in mind while using digital devices:
Maintain a distance of minimum 25 inches or roughly at arm’s length while working on a laptop or computer screen.
Use a matte screen filter instead of a glossy one for your smartphone to reduce the screen’s glare.
Use rose water when your eyes feel dry. Blink often when using digital devices.
Let your device auto-adjust its brightness according to light in the area.
Keep your devices clean. Fingerprints and other debris can cause more strain on your eyes.
Wear glasses with an anti-reflective coating.