Shot of a little girl and her father using a tablet before bedtime

4 Simple Ways to Manage Digital Eye Strain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This pandemic has been challenging for everyone, especially for children who have to now learn online.  As a parent, you may be concerned with the increase of screen time due to online learning and worry about the effects of additional exposure to blue light on your child’s eyes.  You may even have concerns about your own exposure as the normal limitation of 2 hours per day of screen time may not be feasible at this time. Although the light emitted by personal electronic devices is not bright enough to damage the human retina,1 it can cause sleep disruption2 and digital eye strain.

You know that feeling of tired eyes, headache, dry eye, and blurry vision you experience after looking at your screen for a long period? That’s digital eye strain. There are simple ways to combat digital eye strain without purchasing blue light blocking eyewear.

What to do about digital eye strain:

  • Use a blue light filter found in the settings of your digital device. Some may refer to it as blue shade, night shift, blue filter, etc. If your device does not have one, you can download a blue light filter app from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Lubricating eye drops may help alleviate dry eye associated with eye strain.
  • Practice the 20/20/20 exercise. Take 20-second breaks, every 20 minutes by removing your eyes from your digital device screen and looking 20 feet away into the distance.
  • Turn off digital devices up to an hour before sleeping to help avoid sleep disruption.

Although there is no evidence that blue light is harmful to the eye, for those members interested in blue light blocker eyewear, NVA offers fixed pricing on a selection of lenses and coatings with blue light blocking technology.  Please reference your brochure or Blue Blocker Flyer for details.

Please stay safe and well during this difficult time. 

1 O’Hagan JB, Khazova M, Price LL. Low-energy Light Bulbs, Computers, Tablets and the Blue Light Hazard. Eye (Lond) 2016; 30:230-3. As sourced by Infant and Children’s Vision Resources supported by The American Optometric Association and Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, “Blue Light Impact in Children”
2 Chang, Anne-Marie et al. “Evening Use of Light-Emitting eReaders Negatively Affects Sleep, Circadian Timing, and next-Morning Alertness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112.4 (2015):