Does the 20-20-20 Rule Work to Reduce Computer Eye Strain?

Spending long hours looking at a digital screen can strain the eyes. The use of computers, smartphones, TVs, and other digital devices has seen an increase in eye issues. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent eye strain. The rule involves looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes when using a digital device. Doing this exercise helps to rest the eyes and prevent fatigue. 


Symptoms of Eye Strain 

Spending two or more hours continuously on a computer can lead to eye strain. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Sore or tired eyes

  • Itching or burning sensation

  • Dry eyes

  • Blurry vision

  • Watery eyes

  • Double vision

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Headaches

Many people also experience soreness in the neck and shoulders. Difficulty keeping the eyes open and concentrating can be symptoms of eye strain. 

Following the 20-20-20 Rule 

Several things can help prevent eye strain when working on your computer. Eye experts recommend the 20-20-20 rule as a simple yet effective way to reduce eye strain. It is not an exact science; you do not have to measure exactly 20 feet. 

The idea is to focus on something a good distance from the screen. You can look out of the window or at an object at the other end of the room. Remembering to rest your eyes every 20 minutes is essential. Studies suggest it takes about 20 seconds for the eyes to relax.

Taking Frequent Breaks 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that while looking at digital screens may not damage your eyesight, it can cause discomfort. Unpleasant symptoms can affect your overall well-being. 

Taking frequent breaks while using a digital screen can help to reduce eye strain. You can even stand and walk around or grab a bottle of water for a few minutes. Staying hydrated will help to keep your eyes moist by producing tears. It helps to prevent eye dryness. 

Blinking and Tear Film 

Human beings blink approximately 15 times each minute. Blinking helps to spread the tear film over the eye surface. Tears help to keep the eyes clean, nourished, and moisturized. Lack of lubrication can cause dry eye syndrome. 

Eye dryness results in uncomfortable symptoms, such as a burning sensation, itchiness, and the feeling of sand in the eye. Blinking reduces drastically when staring at a digital screen, which can lead to tiredness and irritation. 

Setting a Reminder 

Most people who use computers regularly suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS). To reduce eye strain symptoms, encourage yourself to take breaks every 20 minutes by setting an alarm. 

It is easy for people to forget to take breaks when reading or watching a movie. A timed reminder will help you take breaks every 20 minutes from when you start using your device. You can also download a free app to remind you. 

Eye strain can be uncomfortable and can affect your overall quality of life. The 20-20-20 rule helps prevent strain when looking at digital screens. Symptoms usually subside when you rest the eyes. If you notice changes in your vision, visit your eye doctor. 

For more on the 20-20-20 rule to reduce computer eye strain, visit Trinity Eye Associates at our office in Oviedo, Florida. Call 407-678-9151 to book an appointment today. 

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