The novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, spread like wild fire throughout the world and has changed our daily lives completely. As we are gradually shutting down and people engage more and more in social distancing, our digital devices have become essential to connect with others during times like these.
On a typical weekday, Abigail logs out of her social media accounts by 9pm.
As a social media consultant, she is required to be plugged in — a harsh reality that affects both her physical and mental health. Switching off at a specific time every day helps keep the “digital fatigue” at bay, Abigail said.
However, like many of us, Abigail is now practicing social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. This change has meant she spends more time online, both to read the news about COVID-19 and to connect with friends and family.
“I absolutely notice the effects of being plugged in more than usual: blurry eyes, head and neck aches and a general feeling of digital fatigue.” Abigail said.
We’re here to help with 5 easy tips
1. Ask the expert (your eye specialist!)
An annual trip to the eye doctor is crucial for the entire family (especially children). Ask your eye specialist about the best options to help you reduce eye fatigue, whether it is computer vision or blue light blocking lenses. Be truthful about the time each family member spends using digital devices at home. Even if you don’t need vision correction, blue light blocking solutions are easily available.
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2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes and spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away. How can you tell? No need for tape measures and complicating our lives further. Just focus on something far away from you. Also, blinking more often helps keeping your eyes moist, which may help reduce visual discomfort.
3. Manage your digital distance
Find a comfortable working distance from your screen. This is very important for children since the intensity of light increases rapidly the closer our eyes are to the screen. Children should hold digital devices as far away from their eyes as is comfortable. Adults are encouraged to hold the devices at arm’s length.
4. Adjust brightness and glare
The brightness of your digital device should match the surrounding workspace brightness. To achieve this, focus on the white background of this page. If it looks like a light source in the room, it is too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it is probably too dark. You can adjust your settings through your digital device’s settings portal to get it just right.
5. There’s an app to remind you when to take a break!
So you can’t remember to regularly get away from your digital device to rest your eyes? You can download an app that will remind you to take a break, or even to blink.