How to Reduce Eyestrain from Screen Time

Posted by Alisha

Do you spend most of your day behind a computer screen? Do you frequently strain your eyes reading tiny text on your smartphone and other digital devices?

Do your eyes often itch, burn or feel fatigued or sore during or after screen time? These are telltale eyestrain warning signs.

Eye muscles are already the most active muscles in the human body. Add screen time to the high pressure they are under and it’s no wonder that three out of four people experience eyestrain every day.

Staring at screens makes our eye muscles work really hard, and like any muscles, they get tired and sore with overuse.


Five Tips for Dealing with Eyestrain

In this digital age, our eyes keep us connected. It’s not likely that you can ditch the smartphone or laptop. But you don’t have to accept that after a long day of computer work, your eyes will always be sore and tired. A few small tweaks to your routine can make screen time much easier on your eyes.

1. Use a natural light desk lamp. First, turn off those bright overhead fluorescent lights. Those only make eyestrain worse. Instead, use a natural daylight floor or desk lamp.

Proven to reduce eyestrain by up to 51 percent, the healthy lights that make up the Wellness Series from OttLite are designed to help you see healthier.

How does it work? Well, your eyes naturally work best in natural daylight. Most indoor lighting isn’t healthy for you because it doesn’t mimic natural daylight. Typical LED lighting is unbalanced, which forces eye muscles to work hard to adjust and fill in gaps. And eye muscles working hard leads to eyestrain.

Extensive research and engineering went in to creating the reduced eyestrain lights that make up the OttLite Wellness Series. These healthy, natural daylight lamps come as close to the sun’s natural, balanced spectral output as possible. So, with an OttLite by your side, you can work comfortably and continue to do the things you love, without cutting your activities short due to eye fatigue. 

2. Sit at a proper distance from the computer. Do you find yourself inching closer to the screen to read small text? Try zooming in and increasing your text size instead.

Positioning yourself farther from the screen reduces your risk for eyestrain. Putting a distance of at least 20 inches (or even better, 30 inches) between your eyes and the screen is optimal. Not sure you can eyeball how far that is? An arm’s length is a good guide to follow.

It's also a good idea to position the height of your computer monitor so that top of the screen is at eye level. Keep in mind that looking slightly downward at the screen is more comfortable than looking up.

3.   Reduce glare. Screen glare plays a major role in causing eyestrain, so taking steps to minimize screen reflection and enhance contrast can be very helpful.

Even if you don’t need corrective lenses, computer glasses can be a smart investment if you spend a lot of time staring at screens. Using an anti-reflective coating, computer glasses reduce glare and increase contrast to optimize your eyesight during screen time.

Using a natural daylight desk lamp can help to reduce glare as well.

4. Take regular breaks. We know it can be hard to take breaks when you get in the zone, but to prevent eyestrain it’s important to let your eyes rest regularly.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

After two hours of computer or smartphone use, make sure to take a longer break of at least 15 minutes to really rest your eyes.

5. Do some eye yoga. Yoga is great for all the muscles in your body, including eye muscles! Stretching and massaging your muscles increases circulation to ease aches and pains.

Your eyes are flexing for you all day long. Give them a little TLC with these easy eye yoga exercises. They’ll help you relax and find you eye zen – no yoga mat required!


Your eyes work so hard for you. Don’t take them for granted. Discover more ways to show your eyes some love and care at For regular reminders and tips to help you fight pesky eyestrain, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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