What is the purpose of the 20-20-20 rule?

Long periods doing any activity puts a strain on your muscles and causes them to fatigue. Injuries from over straining muscles can be common in the work or home where adequate health and safety practices are not encouraged. In the same way that the muscles of your body fatigue, the muscles in your eyes also fatigue from over working. Infact the effect of over working your eyes has a double effect of tiring the eye muscles and also causing tear-film disruption. Find out what you can do to keep your eyes healthy as a computer user.

The muscles in your eyes are responsible for intermediate and near focussing, that is computer distance focussing and reading a book focussing. The ciliary muscles in your eyes have to change the shape of your natural lens and hold it in that position for the entire duration of your computer or near activities. When doing this for long periods the ciliary muscle will become strained, resulting in an eye ache and/or mild headache (asthenopia). Allowing the muscle to relax is then the only way to relieve these symptoms.

There are apps available for you to download and use to remind you to take regular breaks. Lets be honest, we are not going to remember to take regular breaks without a prompt. This is where these apps can play an important role in reminding you.

Microsoft apps for computer eye strain



Android apps for computer eye strain


Eyecare 20 20 20

Blue light filtering for screen work

Blue light has been highlighted for some years now as being detrimental to our health. What we know of blue light is that it disrupts sleeping patterns if being exposed to it before bed. It is still not clear what blue light exposure causes over the longer terms in our eyes or on a day to day basis when using screen for prolonged period of time.

If you are concerned about the effects of blue light on your well being, you may want to invest in blue filtering glasses when using screens or blue filters in your prescription eyewear when you next go and have your glasses updated. What they will do is reduce some of the eye strain caused by blue light from screens, they also reduce scatter from headlights at night and they might help with your sleep if you use screens before bed.

Bear in mind your smart phone may have blue light adjustment anyway as many of the latest generation of smart phone screen have a settting to auto adjust the screen colour balance in the evenings. Even if they do have this adjustment, most will not have an app built in to remind your to take breaks and blink.

Eye drops for computer users

Eye drops for computer users are beneficial for supporting the tear-film. They provide symptomatic relief from he symptoms of dry eye. They come in the form of drops and sprays. The drops come in different viscosities, the more viscous having a temporary blurring affect of vision, which may not be practical during a work day.

Depending on how symptomatic you are, you may need to use all methods to keep your eyes from becoming strained. Start getting in to good habits and if you find you are still having problems, get in touch for an in depth assessment.