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Useful tips for a proper use of digital devices

Nowadays a lot of people spend a significant amount of time staring in front of a computer, smartphone or tablet screen, that seriously harms the health of our eyes.

In fact, most jobs require a long period of time to be spent in front of a digital device. Furthermore, we live in the era of social networks and smart communication meaning most actions are performed through electronic devices and their excessive use has become part of our daily life.

These habits create a harmful link between digital screens and our visual health.

This shouldn’t be a justification for giving up, there are preventative solutions.

One way to prevent the harmful effects caused by the light emitted by digital devices is simply to reduce the excess time we often spend in front of the computer and/or smartphone.

Another way to limit the damage is by adopting “healthy habits” such as:

  • take adequate visual distance. For standard-sized screens (15-17inches) distance should be between 19 to 30 inches. The larger the screen size, the greater the distance;
  • position the computer keyboard on the table so that there is enough room for the arms to rest on;
  • the height of the screen, must be positioned slightly lower than the height of the eyes (15-20°).If possible, the screen should be at least 59 inches away from the window;
  • make sure that there are no light sources placed less than 30° in respect to the direction of your gaze, to avoid being dazzled or annoyed;
  • if necessary, always wear the computer glasses prescribed by your ophthalmologist;
  • adjust the contrast and brightness of the monitors so that it does not bother the eyes. Adopt a comfortable position when sitting in front of your computer;
  • avoid having reflections on the screen that make reading difficult. The computer monitor should be placed vertically in front of   a natural light source. Regardless it should be in a position that allows reading easily;
  • take a 15 minute break every two hours (or five minutes every three quarters of an hour or, as per American standards, twenty seconds every twenty minutes ), trying to look at objects placed at a distance of at least 19 feet: this allows the eyes to rest;
  • use a clearly legible font (at least size 12), preferably in a dark color on a light background. The following color combinations should be avoided: red and blue; yellow and violet; yellow and green.  Red, yellow, green and orange should not be used as a standard color background;
  • use applications or programs that change the display color of digital devices, blocking blue light radiation;
  • when we focus on the monitor (for example when we read a text) we involuntarily decrease the frequency in which we blink. This implies a lesser degree of protection for the eye’s anterior surface. To avoid dry eye, it’s useful to remember to continue blinking and if necessary resort to artificial tears.

The correct and incorrect posture in front of a computer:

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