Top 5 Tips for Visual Hygiene, Efficiency, & Relaxation

Are you among the many that have increased your screen time as you are now working from home? Are your children spending more time on a screen as they complete school work at home? Is your family taking advantage of this time at home to watch movies, catch up on your favorite tv shows, or entertain yourselves with digital device games?

If you have said yes to any or all of these, you are most likely experiencing more eye strain, fatigue, dryness, headaches, blurred vision, and neck/shoulder pain. Prolonged screen time on digital devices (computers, tablets, e-readers, cell phones, etc) is associated with many of these visual symptoms.

We are here to help! Review our five easy to remember and easy to initiate tips for visual success with digital devices!


  1. SET-UP FOR SUCCESS:  Start off your work or school day successfully by implementing simple improvements to your workspace set-up.
    • POSTURE – Sit up straight through your back and neck. With proper posture you allow both of your eyes an equal chance to take in information and see your space. Proper posture improves alertness, concentration, comfort, and circulation.
    • WORKING DISTANCE – Maintain an optimal visual working distance from your reading material. To obtain this distance, simply place your closed fist against your chin and place your reading material at the tip of your elbow. This distance is known as The Harmon Distance.
    • REMEMBER TO TILT – Tilt paperwork to 20 degrees towards you to allow for the best visual ergonomics. A slant board or 3-ring binder can provide the necessary 20-degree tilt.
    • ADEQUATE LIGHTING – Try to have ambient lighting for all activities. Natural light is the best, however not always possible. If natural light is not available, try to reduce shiny surfaces, glare, and fluorescent lighting as best as possible.
  1. TAKE BREAKSTHINK 20/20/20:  Every 20 minutes of near work, look 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. Tips to help include:
    • Setting a timer for 20 minutes
    • Use Google Chrome extension “eyeCare – Protect your vision
    • Set short term goals that you can accomplish, then take a break
    • When reading, place a bookmark a few pages ahead and take a break when you make it to your bookmark.

20/20/20 Rule








  1. KEEP BLINKING:  During sustained near work on a digital device, our blink rate goes down by about half! Take blink breaks and consider using over-the-counter artificial tears to reduce dryness and improve comfort. Use the artificial tears as directed by your optometrist, if you have questions on how to use artificial tears properly or which to use, please contact us directly.
  1. PRESCRIBED GLASSES:  If you have been prescribed glasses for computer, reading, or near work, make sure you are wearing them! This can improve visual focus and reduce added strain. Blue blocking glasses may be an option for you, contact us directly to discuss the benefit of this technology and if it may be right for you. If you are a current/past vision therapy patient that has been prescribed syntonic googles, proper and consistent use is of high priority in order to reduce symptoms and improve stamina.
  1. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS:  Being in an open space and looking at a distance helps to relax the eyes. Engage in simple activities that we may have forgotten are possible like taking a walk, relaxing on the patio/porch, or play movement-oriented games such as hopscotch, tag, catch, and Simon Says.

Now more than ever we are on our digital devices out of necessity for work, online school, and entertainment. This increased demand on our visual system is one of the many reasons that it is so important to continue to address and recognize visual symptoms and strain. These TOP 5 TIPS for VISUAL HYIGENE, EFFICIENCY, & RELAXATION can help to reduce the strain many experience and keep us all preforming and living at our greatest potential.

As always, we are here to support you and your visual needs. Please reach out if you have any questions.Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center

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