Why the 20-20-20 Rule Is Important for Eye Health?

December 31, 2020

Have you been experiencing red, dry, or watery eyes and blurred vision after binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix? Do you suffer from headaches and neck and shoulder pain when working on your laptop for too long? If so, you likely have computer vision syndrome (CVS). Commonly known as digital eyestrain, CVS is a growing public health issue that affects an estimated 60 million people worldwide. It’s a combination of visual health problems associated with prolonged use of digital devices. If you want to protect your eyes from this, you might want to consider applying the 20-20-20 rule.


What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?


Even before the pandemic, the average worker in the United States already spends seven hours on the computer each day. It’s no wonder that many people experience the common signs of CVS. You have to understand that your eyes respond differently to digital screens compared to paper or other materials. This reaction has to do with several factors, such as screen glare, viewing distance, and contrast. The discomfort can also be due to poor lighting, improper seating posture, and uncorrected vision problems. Your eyes get fatigued because you squint more when using digital devices for too long. This places tension on your eyelids. You also tend to blink less often when you stare at digital screens. Blinking encourages moisture production. So, blinking less means that your eyes get lubricated less frequently, causing them to become dry.


How to Protect Yourself From CVS


You can prevent CVS by taking frequent breaks through the 20-20-20 rule. This means that for every 20 minutes you spend looking at your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you need to look at an object from 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. The rule helps relax your eye muscles. Besides, remembering to blink encourages tear production, preventing dry eye disease.


The 20-20-20 rule is pretty straightforward. But it’s easy to lose track of time as you study online or work on your reports. You can put the 20-20-20 rule into practice by setting the alarm to remind you to take a break every 20 minutes. Judging a 20-feet distance indoors can sometimes be challenging. So, try to look out your window and focus on a tree or lamppost during the 20-second break. As an alternative, you can also rest by closing your eyes instead of looking at an object from afar.


Effective Ways to Prevent Eyestrain


Since you blink less often when using your digital device, use eye drops or artificial tears. This way, you can keep your eyes from drying out. Change your computer settings by adjusting the screen’s contrast and making texts large enough. It’s also best to read black texts against a white background as they are easiest on your eyes.


Poor eyesight is one of the significant causes of eyestrain. So, ensure that you visit your eye doctor regularly. It’s vital that you update your prescriptions as often as needed. Do you want to schedule your eye checkup? Contact our eye specialists in Pack Optical today. Call our office in Fort Worth, Texas, to make an appointment.

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