Our Top 9 Accessories Your Eyes Deserve if You’re Working and Playing on Digital Devices

These days, more of us are staring at a computer screen for hours on end, day after day. We’re working on documents, playing online games, on video conference calls, watching videos and movies, connecting with friends and family—and so much more.

This staring-at-all-the-screens-all-the-time trend accelerated during the pandemic, and it’s thoroughly baked into our everyday lives. So many of us are still working from home; that genie isn’t going back in the bottle anytime soon, if ever.

But spending too much time in front of screens can lead to digital eye strain. It’s an actual medical condition that may result in tired, red, or dry eyes, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

In fact, it’s estimated that over 50% of computer users may suffer from the symptoms of digital eye strain. 1

The good news: There are a number of products you can use right now to reduce the harmful effects of too much screen time. Ask your healthcare provider if these 9 products could be right for you:

1. Blue light glasses.

While blue light comes from the sun, it’s also generated by digital devices, in significant, concentrated amounts that your eyes can’t filter out. Medical experts aren’t necessarily in agreement as to the harmful effects of blue light exposure, but there are claims that it can lead to eye strain, headaches, and poor sleep quality. In one study, blue light exposure suppressed the production of melatonin 2, the hormone that tells the body when it’s time to sleep.

The truth is, our eyes just weren’t designed to be around so much blue light. Wearing blue light glasses when looking at your digital devices can block this type of light out.

Good news: you can buy blue light glasses over the counter, and don’t need a special prescription for them. And if you wear prescription glasses or reading glasses, you can have blue light filters added to the lenses.

2. An anti-glare screen for your device.

Reflected sunlight and interior light can create glare on your digital device, and make it harder to see. That’s when it’s a good idea to attach a protective screen to your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. With a screen, you won’t have to squint or move your screen around to find the clearest position for viewing.

If blue light is a concern, and you don’t want to wear blue light glasses, certain protective screens can filter it out.

And as an added bonus, many of these accessories will protect your screen from scratching or breaking, too. It’s a win-win: better eye protection and better device protection!

3. A document holder.

Whenever you look down at printed reference material that’s sitting on your desk, your eyes need to change their focus, leading to eye strain. That’s why it’s helpful to use a document holder to keep this material at the same height and distance from you as the computer screen.

4. A desk lamp.

This goes hand-in hand with your document holder (see above). If your desk light is too low, you’ll get eye strain. But with a desk lamp, it will be easier to read your docs—and easier on your eyes, too.

5. A humidifier.

If you work in a warm room, the high temperature can dry out your eyes. However, the cooling mist generated by a humidifier can replace some of the moisture lost to heat, to help your eyes feel better.

6. A device-free room to take a break in.

Okay, technically, this isn’t an accessory you can buy online or in a store. But it can be a good way to give your eyes a break from screen glare and all that close-up work. Regular screen breaks are essential, and having a room that’s completely free of digital temptations can help.

Here’s a pro tip: drink plenty of water. This can help hydrate your dry eyes, and all those trips to the bathroom give you a good reason to take breaks. Just be sure not to take your digital device to the toilet with you!

Also, if you’re taking a break, don’t make it a cigarette break. Smoking can damage the blood vessels that support the eye, and may lead to cataracts and macular degeneration.

9. A bottle of lubricating eye drops

such as Rohto® Digi Eye®, to hydrate tired, dry, red eyes, and soothe the symptoms of digital eye strain.