How to prevent eye strain while you work, learn remotely during the pandemic

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Looking at computers all day can be difficult on the eyes. But there are ways to make remote learning and working a bit easier amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Spending hours focused on a task right in front of you makes it harder for your eyes to adjust to things in the distance, according to Dr. Ayesha Malik, a pediatric optometrist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

She suggests taking frequent breaks.

Every 20 minutes, focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds, as that lets your eyes reset their focus. Then blink 20 times, because we tend to blink less when concentrating on something up close.

"You can get reflex wateriness of the eye because the brain is now sending a message to the eye that, ‘now wait, you're drying out. I need to flood you with tears.’ Or you get redness of the eye and irritation and rubbing of the eyes because the child and even the adult's eyes will dry out,” she explained.

Also, make sure your child is outside at least two hours a day as studies have shown that UV light is beneficial for children with myopia, also known as nearsightedness.

"The idea is that it sends a signal to the eye not to elongate at an alarming rate. So, the child will still be myopic, but the final level of nearsightedness might not be as much perhaps as someone who didn't spend so much time outdoors,” she added.

And bigger screens are easier on the eyes. So, put down the phone and use a laptop or computer screen for your work or school day, and make sure the screens are placed at least an arm's length away to avoid eye strain.

Finally, eliminate glare and lower the brightness settings on your devices to ensure more comfortable viewing.

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