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Oakville, ON / 905.847.3937

Digital Eye Strain and COVID-19

No matter what your age, it seems that everyone has been spending more time on digital devices during this pandemic. Although digital device use cannot cause permanent damage to your eyes it can cause symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, dryness, and even interfere with your sleep.

Here are some tips to help you alleviate these symptoms.

Give your eyes a break

  • Set a timer on your phone. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds, we call this the 20-20-20 rule.
  • For every 2 hours you spend on your devices, take a longer break of about 15 minutes.

Adjust your screen

  • Make sure your computer screen is about 50-70 cms, or arm’s length away for your face.
  • Try to position the center of your screen slightly below eye level to decrease discomfort from poor posture.
  • Adjust the brightness of your screen to match the level of ambient light around you.
  • Position your screen away from glare sources such as windows and lights.


Moisturize your eyes!

  • Try to remember to blink! Studies show we blink only half as much as we normally do when looking at screens. This causes dryness, burning, and eye fatigue.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
  • You can also use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  • For more severe symptoms consider using a warm compress. Place a clean towel in warm water and place over the eyes for 5 minutes.
  • Contact lens wear can contribute to dryness, consider removing them, and wearing your glasses.


Can’t sleep?

  • Digital devices emit high energy blue light which studies have linked to poor sleep quality. Try to avoid device use 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Consider turning on “night mode” on your devices in the evening to decrease the blue light exposure.


Additional protection

  • Consider glasses that have a blue-blocking filter in them. Blue light emitted from your devices, while not damaging to the eye, can cause significant eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.


Written by Dr Tina Goodhew

Dr. Tina graduated with the highest standing in her class with a B.Sc. Honours degree from Queen’s University, which she attended on a full scholarship. After receiving several offers and awards including an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and NSERC, Dr. Tina chose to attend the University of Waterloo to pursue Optometry.

Dr. Tina is active in service to the profession of Optometry. She served on the Board of Directors for the BC College of Optometrists in the early 2000’s and, from 2010 through 2016, was a director for Eye Recommend; a group responsible for helping chart the course of optometry in Canada. She has given numerous talks to community groups and is a past recipient of the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ Public Education Award.

Dr. Tina Goodhew delights in helping patients see their best. She is especially passionate about children’s vision and won the Eye See Eye Learn award in 2012. She also has special interests in advanced contact lens fitting, dry eye disease, and laser vision correction. Currently, Dr. Tina serves as a key opinion leader for Alcon, a consultant for Allergan, and a co-editor for the Canadian Eye Care Business Review. After hours, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing volleyball, tennis, and softball.

More Articles by Dr Tina Goodhew

Visit Us in Oakville for a
Complete Eye Care Experience

Abbey Eye Care looks forward to serving you and your family. Our office is located on the Southeast corner of Dundas and Third Line.

Abbey Eye Care

D15, 2501 Third Line
Oakville, ON, L6M 5A9

Contact Information

Phone: 905.847.3937
Fax: 1.866.356.2790
Email: [email protected]

Clinic Hours

Monday:9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday:9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday:9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday:9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday:9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday:9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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