Column: With tech, there can be eye comfort


Commentary by Dr. Matthew Clark, O.D.

In this digital age, optometry patients want to know how to protect their eyes during a long workday in front of their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Now, I love technology and anything that makes my life more like that of Iron Man, but on the days I over-exert my eyes, they feel scratchy, they water and I go to bed an hour earlier. Try these three simple tips and you may find that after a long day you still have the stamina to still turn a couple pages of your favorite book before bed:

  • Take breaks: When you’re zoned in on your screens, your eye muscles are working hard, and like nearly all muscles, they occasionally need a break to regroup. Try the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reset the system.
  • Optimize your workspace: The Iron Man in me wants to mount my computer on the wall, install fluorescent lighting and paint the walls white. The optometrist in me knows better. Adjust room lighting to cut glare where possible and lower your computer to below your line of sight to ease dryness and eyestrain.
  • Workstation glasses: Let your eye doctor fit you for a stronger pair of glasses specifically designed for your workspace, with an anti-glare coating and blue light filter to reduce eye strain. You won’t be able to wear them to drive home, but most of us spend more time at our desks than in our cars, anyway. Keep them by your computer, throw them on in the morning; your eyes will love you for it.

Your favorite devices are not harmful to your eyes, but they can be a literal headache if used incorrectly or in excess. Here’s to comfort throughout your day.

Dr. Matthew Clark, O.D., is an owner of Carmel Eyecare. For more, e-mail him at [email protected].