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When was the last time you looked at a device screen? Chances are you’re doing it right now. In today’s world, people spend hours in front of their computers and mobile devices. While being a part of a connected world has its benefits, it also has one sneaky drawback. You might not even realize it, but all of that time spent looking at a screen may be causing you eyestrain. 

Eyestrain can happen when your eyes become tired from overuse. 
So while it’s easy to blame electronic devices for this annoying condition, it’s not the only contributing factor. Some people experience eyestrain after driving for extended periods of time, reading non-digital books for long hours, being exposed to bright light or glare, or straining to see in dimly-lit areas. 

At the top of the list, though, is computer eyestrain. Because it’s the most common cause of eyestrain, it actually has its own diagnosis: computer vision syndrome. Underlying conditions such as an eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision can cause or worsen a case of computer vision syndrome.

So what can you do to counteract this common ailment? The steps are quite simple. 

User proper lighting. As a rule of thumb, your ambient light should be almost half as bright as what’s used in most office settings. You can reduce that light by closing shades or blinds, turning off overhead fluorescent lights, and using floor lamps. 

Reduce glare. From screen glare to reflective walls and surfaces, you want to create an environment where bright light is reduced. Glasses with anti-reflective coating can help minimize glare by reducing the amount of light that reflects off your lenses.

Upgrade your monitor. If you sit at a computer for work and still use an old CRT monitor, it’s time to move to a flat-panel LCD. LCD screens aren’t as harsh on your eyes--they don’t “flicker” images like bulky CRT monitors. 

Give your eyes a break. To prevent dryness and irritation, you should blink while looking at electronic screens. Every 20 minutes, you should try to take a break to blink 10 times. This will properly rehydrate your eyes and help prevent fatigue. You can also exercise your eyes to offset focus-related fatigue. Do this by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes you should look away from your screen and gaze at a distant object for at least 20 seconds.  


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