FEB 21, 2016 8:59 AM PST

Eyeballing It: More Screens Equal More Eye Strain

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Digital eye strain is real, and it gets worse the more screens or screen time exposed to your eyes. But nowadays, we can't help but be glued to our screens, whether for work or for entertainment. Even worse, many of us are glued to more than one screen at a time, as "multi-screening" is becoming the equivalent of multitasking in this electronic age.

All this eyeballing comes at a cost. Too much screen time can cause eye irritation, blurred vision, headaches, and neck or back pain. The severity of digital eye strain is correlated with the number of screens a person looks at. So fewer screens mean less strain.

Of course it's unrealistic to totally disengage ourselves from our screens. So experts say to reduce eye strain, practice the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes of screen time, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break from straining to focus on the pixels in the screen.
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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