Fix your tired and screen-stressed eyes without giving up on screens

Screens are everywhere and they’re constantly challenging us to staring contests everyday.

As an ophthalmologist, I’ve seen that many of my patients are experiencing digital eye strain, during the pandemic now more than ever! When we’re looking at screens, we simply forget to blink. Normally, our blink rate is about 18x/minute, but when we’re on our screens this decreases to just 3x/minute!

Let me tell you why blinking is so important. Not only does blinking spread out the tears to lubricate our eyes, blinking also milks the lash line oil glands (aka meibomian glands).  When we blink, the muscle in our eyelid wraps around the lash line oil glands and then contracts and milks the oil glands.

So now that we’re on the same page about the importance of blinking, let me share with you 5 important tips on how make your tired, heavy and screen-stressed eyes feel better, so you can keep your eyes on the prize.  

  1. Give your eyes some cleansing love:

 Cleansing the eye area not only marks the end of a productive day, but also a time to give your eyes the nourishment they deserve. Since the lash line oil glands get clogged more easily when we’re looking at screens, keeping them open is so important to our eye health and beauty.

When we blink less, the lash line oils get stuck in the gland and oxidize (think of an apple turning brown), and this creates inflammation. The inflammation not only makes our eyes dry and irritated, but it can also affect our eyelash health and skin under our eyes. When the lash follicle is chronically inflamed this affects our eyelashes in a few ways: 1. Fall out 2. Grow in uneven directions or 3. Grow at a slower rate

That’s why a simple step like cleansing and keeping the lash line oil glands and lash follicles open is such an important one! 

  1. Exercise your eyes: 

A common reason why we feel like our eyes can’t focus at the end of the day is because they’re already tired from putting in work all day long. The 20-20-20 rule can help with this: Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This opportunity to look far away helps relax the focusing muscle of the eye, helping to reduce overall digital eye strain. 

  1. Position your screen: 

Since looking upwards at a screen can lead to increased eye strain, make sure to adjust your computer screen so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Position your computer screen so it's 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck. 

  1. Adjust the screen brightness: 

Adjusting the brightness of your screen’s display can also help minimize digital eye strain. The brightness of the display should match the brightness as your surrounding workstation.  An easy test you can do is, look at the white background of this PDF guide. If it looks like a light source, it's too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.

  1. Blink more: 

It’s easier said than done, blinking helps to spread out the tears to help lubricate the eyes, so when we don’t blink our tears evaporate, leaving our eyes feeling dry and heavy. The 20-20-20 rule I mentioned earlier is designed to remind people to blink. I also love using, our Soothe Operator Rollerball Serum  as a way to multi-task. While applying it, it’s a chance to keep my eyes closed, while rolling on a hydrating and nourishing serum with a cool metal rollerball all at the same time -- a perfect way to roll away our tired screen-stressed eyes! 

So if you’re looking to energize your tired, screen-stressed eyes but don’t know where to begin,

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