Eye Health Advice for the Digitally Obsessed

Eye of the Tiger

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Between compulsively refreshing celebrity gossip sites to get the latest on KStew and RPatz (she hasn’t showered in how many days?) and checking Facebook to “like” your bestie’s recent procurement of Jimmy Choos for 50% off, it’s safe to assume that most of us are digitally obsessed.

Yes, constant iPhone access means you’re the first to know about anything and everything, but when it comes to modern technology adversely affecting your eye health — not so savvy. We get it. Unless someone’s willing to pay for an all-expenses paid trip to an exotic island without Internet access, it’s hard to unplug. We spoke to optometrist Dr. Bogard Chang about how to get your daily dose of viral videos and still keep your eyes healthy.

Get a complete eye exam: Computer screens emit and reflect light, which can cause eye strain, blurry vision, dryness, itchiness, redness, and headaches, among other symptoms, Dr. Chang said. The best way to combat these symptoms is to get a complete eye exam along with an exam for computer glasses, which have a yellow-tinted coating that helps reduce glare.

Adjust the screen: Dr. Chang recommended reducing the brightness of your computer screen and lowering the monitor 15 degrees from the line of sight. This makes you lower your eyelids, helping to minimize your eyes' exposure to air.

Shift spots: Stay away from windows and fluorescent lights, which can cause additional glare. Also, avoid AC or a fan blowing directly into your face, which can both cause more dryness.

Exercise your eyes: Remember to blink often. One easy eye exercise you can do is to gaze up to the ceiling without moving your head for 10 seconds. Then gaze to the right, gaze down, and gaze left, holding each position for 10 seconds. Repeat the rotating gaze exercise clockwise.

Give it a rest: Dr. Chang suggested the 20/20 rule: Take a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes.

xx, The FabFitFun Team

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