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How to Protect Your Eyes During Extended Screen Time

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Don’t let your eyeballs get cooked like eggs.

I spend the vast majority of my day in front of a screen of some sort. I’m a plugged-in person, what can I say? I have pretty good vision in general, and that’s in spite of being screen-glued for pretty much all of my life, but my eyes aren’t invulnerable. In the last couple of years, my eyes have occasionally become dry and achy. Unfortunately, due to both my hobbies and line of work, I can’t just turn the computer off. If you’re like me, there are a few things you can do to make things a bit easier on your eyes.

First, enable dark mode on your browser(s). Dark modes have become way more popular in the last few years as people spend more time on certain sites, especially social media. If you check your settings on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, you can usually find a dark mode toggle that’ll switch the harsh white background to a soft black one. You can still do this even for sites that don’t have the function baked in with browser plug-ins. I use the Stylish plug-in on Firefox that allows me to put a custom dark mode overlay on almost any site, from Google to Wikipedia.

Second, consider getting a pair of blue light glasses. The jury is still out on whether or not these things are medically viable, but personally speaking, they help a lot. Whenever my eyes are feeling sore, I put the glasses on, and browsing becomes much easier. From what I’ve heard, though, the effect is different for everyone. For some people, it does nothing, while for others, it can cause headaches. You won’t know until you try, but if you don’t suffer any adverse effects, it’s definitely a viable option.

The best ways to prevent eye strain are to get a good night’s sleep, get some vitamin A in you, and, whenever possible, just close your eyes and give them a break. Sometimes, you just gotta put a blindfold on for a few minutes. Put on a podcast, it’s relaxing.