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COVID-19: Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

You and your children are likely spending more time on mobile devices and computer screens than ever before. Too much time spent staring at screens can cause computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, in certain people. While not serious, this condition can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness

Below are some useful tips to help you and your children avoid computer vision syndrome:

Blink more! 

Staring at a screen strains the eyes more than reading printed material because people tend to blink 30-50% less. This can also cause your eyes to dry out. Be mindful of blinking and make it a habit when focusing on a screen, as it will keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule 

Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing so will allow your eyes to relax and will give both you and your eyes some rest.

Keep your distance

Your eyes work harder to see close up than at a distance. Try keeping your monitor or screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away.

Lighting matters

Make sure that your surrounding light is similar in strength to the light emanating from your screen. Contrasting levels of light, such as looking at a bright screen in a dark room, can strain the eyes.

Take breaks from the screen

You may want to stipulate ‘screen free’ time for yourself and/or your children, such as during meal times or for several hours throughout the day. Engage in hobbies that don’t require a screen, such as drawing, reading books, doing puzzles, playing an instrument or cooking (among many others).

Don’t use devices before bed

Studies show that blue light may affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake and sleep cycle. Stop using screens one to two hours before bedtime or use nighttime settings to minimize blue light exposure.

Although it may require a bit of planning to protect your family’s eyes during this stressful time, ultimately, it’s all about balance — and what works for you and your family may differ from others.

From all of us at Pickering Town Centre Optometric Clinic at Pickering, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

WE ARE OPEN!

Due to Covid-19 we have taken extensive measures to keep our staff and patients safe. Please call or email ptcoptometricclinic@gmail.com prior to coming in so that we can book a time and notify you of our safety protocols in order to maintain social distancing.

If you need to order your contact lenses please call or email us and we will ship them to you directly. If you prefer, our Optometrists are still offering virtual eye care when possible.

We ask that if you or someone you live with has been ill in the last 14 days, you have traveled outside Ontario in the last 14 days and/or you have been diagnosed/exposed to COVID-19 in the last 30 days that you refrain from making an appointment at this time.

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday 11am - 5:30pm
Sunday 11 am - 5pm

Thank you for making our clinic a safe space.