Screen Time and Eye Health

September 23, 2021

Many people are spending more time in front of computer screens than ever before, which can have a negative effect on eye health. To avoid the need for surgical services and additional ocular treatments, below are a few ways to protect your eyes at home. 

Make Sure Your Prescription Is Accurate. Grabbing an old pair of glasses to magnify the computer screen isn’t a good idea. Your eyesight might have changed since the prescription was last filled. You should schedule an eye exam based on your age, or if you are experiencing changes in eyesight, headaches, etc.

People ages 20 to 39 with healthy eyes, for example, should get exams every five years, while people ages 40 to 54 need exams every two to four years.

Remember to Blink. While concentrating on reading words on the screen, people tend to blink half as often as they do when not looking at computers. The average drops to just five to seven times per minute compared to a healthy rate of 15 times per minute. Blinking is important to eye health, as doing so creates tears that nourish eyes and keep the structure hydrated. Failing to blink leads to dry eye.

Itchiness and the sensation of a lash or dirt particle in the eye are common symptoms of dryness. To keep eyes lubricated, look up from the computer screen every 15 minutes. Focus on an object in the distance and blink often. Artificial tears can be used to treat chronic dry eye.

Eye care at Mille Lacs Health System can be accessed, close to home. A full range of vision and eye care services by a licensed optometrist is available, including eye exams and prescriptions for corrective contact lenses and glasses. Make an appointment to see our new optometrist, Dr. Nerissa Klingelhofer, a visiting specialist from Great River Eye Clinic. We also have a board-certified ophthalmologist, Adam Ahlquist, M.D., to treat and diagnose diseases of the eye. Dr. Ahlquist also performs eye surgery, and manages cataract, glaucoma, and diabetes issues related to the eyes.

If you are experiencing eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes, or have any other concerns with your eye health schedule an appointment with a provider at Mille Lacs Health System by calling 320-532-3154. 

Pictured below: New Visiting Optometrist, Dr. Nerissa Klingelhofer.

optometrist, visiting specialist