Opinions

Your Eye Health This Semester

Mariem Girgis ’22

SHAPE Member 

Zoom lectures got you tired? How about your eyes? Does attending class and studying make you feel eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and/or neck and shoulder pain? 

If you answered yes to any of these symptoms, it might be due to spending two or more continuous hours a day looking at your digital screen. Prolonged exposure to your computer, tablet, or phone may put you at risk of digital eye strain, or as the American Optometric Association (AOA) phrases it, computer vision syndrome. But computer vision syndrome is completely preventable–and completely quarantine friendly! To prevent digital eye strain while you are using/studying on your device, the AOA recommends following the 20-20-20 rule to prevent your digital strain: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away. Additionally, if you feel that your eyes are dry, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water (8-10 glasses per day) and as recommended by the AOA, it may be beneficial to purchase preservative-free artificial tears to supplement your natural production of tears–these drops do not contain as many additives that contribute to further eye irritation. 

By following healthy habits during the semester, we can preserve our sight and our eye health. Our eyes help us to study, read, and write–among so many other things—so we need to take care of them. 🙂 

Photo by Hui Li ’21.

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