The average adult (in the United States) spends about 10 hours a day interacting with different types of media. Almost 80% said that they spend two hours or more every day in front of a screen—from using their phones, to reading on an e-reader, watching TV, and even studying.
Isn't that insane?!
Hear this: an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association concluded that the percentage of Americans suffering from myopia rose from 25% to 41% since the 1970’s. The experts believe the reason for an increase of nearsightedness is due to the proliferation of near-work such as studying and texting.
There's absolutely no denying what a big part electronic screens play in our lives.
So when it comes to using computers for long periods of time, people may experience symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (also known as Digital Eye Strain) such as eye strain or headaches.
Here are some common symptoms incase you have Digital Eye Strain:
- Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
- Watery or dry eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Sore neck, shoulders or back
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling unable to keep your eyes open
There are some factors that might make Digital Eye Strain even worse, including:
- Glare on your screen
- Poor posture
- Setup of your computer workstation
- Circulating air, such as from air conditioning or a nearby fan
It's definitely difficult to decrease the amount of time you spend on a computer screen especially when studying, but these simple tips can help to reduce Digital Eye Strain:
- The 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes of computer use, look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a break.
- Position reference documents wisely: so you do not need to move your head to look from the document to the screen. Documents should be above the keyboard, but below the monitor. A document holder may help since it is placed upright and near the monitor.
- Prioritise comfort: To ensure that you're comfortable typing on a laptop, adjust the position of your laptop so that the screen is between 15 and 20 degrees below eye level and about four to five inches from your eyes. Make sure that your screen is positioned to avoid glare, and that your feet are on the ground, so your neck is in the proper position
- Frequent Eye-care: make sure to keep your eyes moist by blinking frequently. When you do, you'll keep your eyes moist and reduce the risk of developing dry eyes, so get your eyes checked regularly.
You can't avoid using electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and other portable digital devices while studying for the CFA exam. But you CAN take certain precautions to minimise eye strain!
Well, if you’ve made it this far, you probably already know the benefits of eye health, so this is the perfect time to make sure you protect your eyes from the screen. Go on then, you.