On a Zoom Call? Why You Should Break Eye Contact

Posted Mar 2021

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

Tagged smile, vision coverage, diet, e-book, lubricating eye drops, artificial tears, washcloth, gel eye mask, compresses, warm and cold eye, screen glare, overhead lighting, screen time, AOA, AAO, blinking, eye damage, blue light, optometrist, eye doctor, eye care provider, eye exam, eye discomfort, gritty eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, digital eye strain

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On a Zoom Call? Why You Should Break Eye Contact 

Zoom Call and Vision

Even before the pandemic, a long day at the office could leave you feeling cross and cross-eyed. Now that almost everything of our daily lives—think business meetings and school classes, family reunions and concert performances—is happening online, complaints about digital eye strain, as well as muscle pain, are on the rise. More than four out of five Americans spend at least two hours each day on a digital device, and the majority are reporting eye discomfort, dry eyes or gritty eyes or blurred vision, as well as headaches or shoulder pain.  

Are you among them?

It’s always a good idea to schedule an eye exam to make sure everything’s okay, but in the meantime...

Here is what you can do to alleviate eye strain from too much screen time

  • Give your eyes a frequent break by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Blink frequently.
  • Reduce overhead lighting to reduce or eliminate screen glare.
  • Increase the font size text and images on your screen.
  • Apply warm or cold compresses to soothe your eyes. Chill a gel eye mask in the fridge or heat it in the microwave. In a pinch, a wet washcloth, chilled or heated, will also work.
  • Try artificial tears, also known as lubricating eye drops, for temporary relief.
  • Revive some 20th-century habits: Unless you need to establish a paper trail, call your business associates, rather than texting or emailing them. Take notes on a pad of paper, instead of using an app. Substitute a real book for an e-book.
  • Install a PC filter.
  • Switch to blue-light eye glasses.
  • Get a comprehensive eye exam each year. Your eye care provider will determine whether you suffer from eye strain or need glasses, recommend the best eye drops (OTC or prescription) and monitor your eyes for optimal vision and overall health.
  • Also: Eat a healthy diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, complex grains and lean proteins to support your eyesight.

One piece of good news: According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the blue light emitted by digital screens is not conclusively linked to damage to the human retina or age-related macular degeneration

Why a vision blog from a dental insurance company?

Delta Dental of Arkansas is not just all about teeth and gums. We also offer affordable vision care with DeltaVision. Plans are available for groups and individuals and families.

Because we care about your smile, and only a smile that engages the eyes, is a smile of happiness.

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