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Extended screen time from virtual schooling, working from home leading to eye strain

Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 24, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you’re working from home or attending classes virtually, you may have noticed that you’re getting a headache more often.

Staring at screens for a longer period of time can lead to dry, itchy eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity and yes headaches. But eye doctors say there are some things we can so to keep our eyes healthy.

“The first suggestion I have for someone is, ‘Let’s do a comprehensive eye exam,"" said optometrist Chris Conner with Schaffer Family Eye Care. "If it’s been greater than a year, then it's probably time for us to reexamine.”

Conner says over the past few months, he’s seen more and more patients coming in with eye strain. Some research shows some correlation between extended screen time and nearsightedness. One way to help prevent this is to get the proper eye-wear.

“In our screens and LED lighting that has been implemented in many of our work environments has had a big impact on our eyes," Conner said. "So anti-reflective coatings on glasses, blue filters may alleviate that strain as well.”

Conner also suggests giving your eyes a break in between classes and Zoom interviews.

“So we kind of have a silly rule," Conner said. "It's the 20-20-20 rule, which means that for about every 20 minutes of prolonged screen time, look at a distanced target 20 feet away for approximately 20 seconds.”

Schaffer Family Eye Careis taking new patients for anyone needing an appointment.

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