Many of us find ourselves in front of a computer, smartphone, or other digital devices on a daily basis. With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, you may have relied on technology even more to pass the time or stay connected with friends and family.

Quincy Medical Group (QMG) HQ Eyes Optometrist Dr. Marshall Munch, said most adults will spend several hours a day in front of a screen whether it’s for their job or recreationally.  That extended time can lead to strain on your eyes.

“Anytime you’re looking at anything up close, your eyes have to converge, or turn in,” he explained. “You also have a muscle inside your eye that allows you to focus. Therefore extended near tasks can put a lot of strain on your visual system.”

Symptoms of eye strain include sore, tired or burning eyes; blurred or double vision; watery, itchy or dry eyes; or headaches.  To help prevent eye strain, Dr. Munch recommends following the 20-20-20 rule.  Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

“The 20-20-20 rule is a great way to remember to give your eyes a break. Anytime you look at a screen, your eyes are turning in.  By practicing this rule, you’ll relax your eyes,” Dr. Munch said.  “When you do take a break from your computer screen, don’t take that time to look at your phone screen.  Take a break and look 20 feet away.”

Some people have begun using blue light blocking glasses while in front of their computers.  Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and general lighting can all expose the eyes to blue light.  But, how effective are blue light blocking glasses?

Dr. Munch says there’s not much research to support that blue light blocking glasses are helpful for your eyes when using a computer, but they may help you get better sleep.

“As we know more about blue light, one of the big things we know is that blue light suppresses melatonin, which is the sleep emoting hormone,” Dr. Munch said.  “A lot of us, myself included, hop in bed and look at our phone. And there are studies that say blue light can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep.”

Regular eye exams are the best way to support your eye health and address any concerns you might have.  Dr. Munch recommends seeing an optometrist annually.

For more information on HQ Eyes or QMG Eye and Vision Institute visit