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3 Tips to Avoid Eye Strain While Learning or Working at Home

expert suggestions from Dr. Natalee Frie of Pearle Vision

Have you noticed an increase in headaches, watery eyes, tiredness, and feeling worn out while learning or working from home? As many families have set up home offices and schoolwork stations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are reporting an increase of digital eye strain, or issues that arise as a result of increased use of digital devices. This can make it tough to concentrate and leave you and your family feeling cranky and irritable throughout the day. Thankfully, there are many ways you can avoid eye strain and continue fostering happy households amid turbulent times.

Here are three great “eye-ideas” you can use at home to avoid eye strain. 

Follow the 20/20/20 rule!

Even if 2020 wasn’t a great year, the 20/20/20 rule is a great rule of thumb for keeping your eyes healthy. Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer screen for at least 20 seconds at something at least 20 feet away. This flexes the lens of your eyes so they’re not stuck in one position. Think of it as kind of like stretching your eyes! While you’re at it, it might not be a bad idea to stretch out and walk around, too. Consider a 20-second dance party with your kids! 

Get your eyes checked!

Sometimes, eye strain isn’t actually caused by your devices at all. Headaches, watery eyes, and crankiness may be a sign that your prescription glasses aren’t quite right, or that maybe it’s time to consider wearing prescription glasses for the first time! Optometrists like Dr. Frie and Dr. Meyer at Pearle Vision can find the perfect prescription specifically for when you are using your devices, as this can differ from your day-to-day lenses.

Consider investing in blue light-filtering glasses.

Although blue light-filtering glasses may not be the right fit for everyone, many people find that their eyes are sensitive to the blue light emitted from their digital devices. That’s where blue light-filtering glasses can help because they block the blue light from your screens. If you’re not sure whether you or your family would benefit from a pair, consider your screen time. Is it all day, every day? Consider your sleep habits. Do you find it difficult to fall asleep? Increased use of blue light-emitting devices – particularly at night – can suppress melatonin, a hormone necessary for falling asleep. Although there is conflicting evidence on how helpful blue light-filtering glasses are, the best tip is to talk to your friendly neighborhood optometrist to find out if blue light-filtering lenses may help in your situation. 

Getting your eyes checked every year is an important part of keeping your body healthy and happy. Optometrists check for early signs of eye diseases – such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration – which can cause vision loss later in life. Scheduling an eye exam can also ensure kiddos are set up for success at school and parents are set up for success at work. At Pearle Vision, eye health and wellness is our primary focus, and our focus on health extends into our sanitation and social distancing protocols as a result of COVID-19.

Dr. Stephanie Meyer, left, and Dr. Natalee Frie at Pearle Vision in Altoona.
Dr. Stephanie Meyer, left, and Dr. Natalee Frie at Pearle Vision in Altoona.

Dr. Natalee Frie is an optometrist at Pearl Vision, 3063 Meadowlark Lane #10, Altoona. This article is part of our Partner Content program. Learn more about that here.