10 Tips To Reduce Eye Strain During Online Classes
November 21, 2021
3 min read
If you're experiencing more headaches and backaches than you have before, you're probably one of the many people experiencing Computer Vision Syndrome (Digital Eye Strain). With the education model shifting online owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, students and teachers are spending longer hours in front of screens, and are increasingly experiencing symptoms like eye fatigue, dry eyes, headaches, back pain, and neck pain among others. In times like these, where being chained to a screen is commonplace, it becomes necessary to practice good screen habits.
Here are some tips to help you reduce eye strain during online classes:
Smaller screens cause more strain and discomfort to the eyes as they try to read smaller text. It's advisable to use a larger screen such as a tablet, laptop or a desktop to attend class. Apps like Duet Display allow you to use your iPad or iPhone as an extra display.
It's important to take regular breaks from the screen. To rest your eyes, you may follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stare at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. You may use apps like Stretchly (for your PC) or WorkBreak (for your phone) that remind you to take a pause. Try these simple eye exercises at fixed intervals to relieve eye strain.
Your study space should neither be too bright nor too dark. Ensure that the room lighting is dimmer than your screen and try positioning your screen away from the window to limit glare. Additionally, avoid using your device outdoors to prevent glare from the sun. You may choose to get a desk plant to enliven your study space!
Brighter screens cause eye strain resulting in mild to severe headaches. Turning down the brightness preserves not only your macular health but also your device’s prized battery life. You may choose to turn on the Blue Light Filter on your device to adjust the screen’s lighting to reduce eye strain. Apps like Twilight and f.lux perform the same function to offer respite to your eyes.
Viewing small text and images is a great source of discomfort for your eyes. Consider adjusting the settings of your browser to maintain an adequate level of zoom so you can view pages without straining your eyes. Increase font size and embolden text while reading or typing documents.
Sitting too close to the screen increases the strain on your eyes. Try sitting at least an arm’s length from your device. Ideally, the top of the screen should be just below eye level. Maintaining the right posture is the key to keeping back and neck pains at bay.
Refrain from using a screen after class hours. Include off-screen activities like reading, practising a sport or crafting in your daily schedule. Walks are a great way to not only rejuvenate your mind but also to provide your body with the much needed exercise it is deprived of while working in the digital environment.
The best way to give your eyes the much needed rest they deserve after a long day in front of the screen is to get adequate sleep. It's important to get at least 7 hours of sleep a day to relax your eyes and mind and to replenish the natural supply of tears to prevent dry eyes. Moreover, avoid screen exposure an hour before going to bed.
A healthy diet consisting of omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins E and C can really help in boosting eye health. Incorporating green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, nuts, beans, citrus fruits in your meals can provide you with these essential nutrients. Don't forget to have plenty of water to prevent your eyes from drying out.
You might want to consider getting blue light glasses. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest whether these glasses work, blue light is known to interfere with your circadian cycle and cause headaches. If working late into the night on a screen seems to be affecting your sleep cycle, getting a pair to filter out the blue light might be a good option.
While we may have to spend long hours online to attend classes, complete assignments, organize work meetings or finish tasks, we hope these simple yet effective eye care tips help you to maintain healthy eyes and a healthy life. Happy learning, healthy learning!