A recent survey by the American Optometric Association (AOA) shows that 88% of Americans know digital devices can negatively affect their vision, but still spend more than seven hours per day looking at screens, whether for work or pleasure. Extended screen time can negatively affect your vision in a number of ways.

That?s why we think it?s important to take ?Save Your Vision? month in March seriously.

?Save Your Vision? Month

?Save Your Vision? month is held every March and is aimed at increasing awareness of good eye care and getting regular eye exams. This year, digital eye strain is a huge part of the AOA?s campaign, focusing especially on eye care in the workplace.

1. Avoid Blue Light

One of the best things you can do to reduce eye strain and other vision problems at work and home is to avoid blue light when possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to put away or turn off your digital devices for at least one hour before bed. This can really limit your exposure to blue light.

Another great way to reduce the blue light in your life is to search online to find settings or apps to reduce the blue light coming from your devices.

Symptoms of being exposed to too much blue light include:

  • – digital eye strain;
  • – dry eyes;
  • – eye irritation (burning and stinging);
  • – blurred vision;
  • – sleep problems;
  • – headaches; and,
  • – neck and shoulder pain.

2. Get Comfortable

Another key to making sure you don?t overwork your eyes is to unplug regularly. We generally recommend the 20-20-20 rule when it comes to using your devices. Simply make a conscious effort to take a 20 second break and look away from your screen every 20 minutes, concentrating on something about 20 feet away.

Another good tip is to maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device. Adjust the text size and use the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing yourself and the device closer together. Also be aware of how you sit at a desk or table while viewing your device; the center of the screen should be slightly below your eye level, and you should be 20-24 inches away from the screen.

3. Schedule An Eye Exam

The most important habit you can change during ?Save Your Vision? month is to make sure you?re getting a regular eye exam. Whether you think you have an eye issue or not, a regular eye exam can help discover problems before they get out of control, and help you correct them early on.