Alleviating Eye Strain from Digital Devices: Tips and Exercises for Relief

Published on
February 3, 2023

As we spend more and more time in front of computer screens and cell phones, it's important to be aware of the potential effects on our eyes. Eye strain, pressure between the eyes, and headaches can be caused by prolonged device use, as well as shoulder and neck pain. In this blog, we'll provide some tips and exercises to help alleviate these symptoms and keep your eyes healthy.

Relief from Computer-Induced Eye Strain: The Importance of Taking Frequent Breaks

One of the main causes of eye strain is staring at a digital device for too long. This can lead to "accommodative spasm" in the eye muscles, which can be relieved by taking breaks. A good rule of thumb to follow is the "20-20-20 rule" - for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away. This will give your eye muscles a rest and prevent cramping.

Eliminating Eye Strain through Proper Screen Positioning

The position of your screen can also play a big role in eye strain. For desktop computers and laptops, it's best to have the screen at arm's length. The height of the screen should also be adjusted so that your eyes are not quite at the very top of the screen, but not directly in the middle. If you're watching a movie or playing a video game, having the screen at eye level in the middle of the screen is more comfortable. To reduce glare, make sure that windows and indoor light sources are not reflecting on your screen. 

How to Adjust Your Device Settings To Reduce Eye Strain

You can also adjust the settings on your device to make it easier on your eyes. One way to do this is to increase the font size if it's too small and you find yourself squinting. On a Windows 10 computer, you can press the control button and use the plus or minus buttons to control the font size. On a phone, go to settings and adjust the font accordingly. Another way to adjust the settings is to change the brightness level of your screen. On Windows 10, you can right-click on the home screen, go to display settings, and use the slide bar to adjust the brightness and color. There's also a night mode or blue light setting on Windows 10, Android, and Apple, which reduces the amount of blue wavelength light coming from your device, which can affect your melatonin production and sleep cycle and may contribute to eye strain.

Combatting Digital Eye Strain: The Importance of Frequent Blinking

When using digital devices, it's common for many of us to blink less often or less fully. This happens because we are highly focused on the computer screen, phone or book, which results in a decrease in our blink rate or quality of our blinking. Typically, our blink rate is around 20 times per minute during a conversation, but it can drop to as low as 4.5 times per minute while using digital devices. To alleviate these symptoms, it's important to be mindful of blinking and make a conscious effort to blink more frequently. Additionally, you can use lubricating eye drops and warm compresses to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye.

Relieving Eye Strain through Eye Exercises: A Practical Guide for Digital Device Users

While we typically recommend taking breaks and engaging in outdoor activities to alleviate eye strain, certain eye exercises can also be beneficial. One such exercise is called cupping, where you warm your hands and gently place them over your eyes, creating a dark environment for your eyes to rest in. It is important to not put too much pressure on your eyes and to relax your shoulder and neck muscles while performing this exercise. This technique can serve as a form of relaxation for your eyes, providing relief from the bright lights of digital screens.

Exercise 1: Active Blinking

Objective: Encourage full and complete blinking


  • Spend one minute actively blinking
  • Do 50 full blinks
  • Look in each direction (up, down, left, right, straight) and blink 10 times in each direction
  • Ensure full blinks by placing a finger under your eye near your cheekbone
  • You should feel a gentle brush of your upper eyelashes on your finger when you blink fully

Exercise 2: Eye Squeeze

Objective: Strengthen eyelid muscles


  • Close your eyes normally, pause for 2 seconds, then open them
  • Close your eyes normally again, pause for 2 seconds, then forcefully close them
  • Hold the lids together tightly for 2 seconds, then open both eyes
  • Repeat for 1 minute

Exercise 3: No Movement Blink

Objective: Improve blinking technique


  • Place fingers at the corners of your eyes
  • Blink fully
  • No movement should be felt under your fingers during correct blinking

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Is blurry, fuzzy, or double vision impacting your quality of life and vision? Take our online double vision assessment to help identify if you may have an underlying vision problem that is causing diplopia (double vision) /neuro/double-vision-quiz/ 

Take our dry eye assessment to see if your symptoms indicate that you are suffering from treatable dry eye disease /dry-eye/dry-eye-quiz/

Can eye exercises reduce eye strain? 

In some cases exercises and changes in your setup and habits are all you need to reduce the symptoms, however that may not always fix the underlying cause of your symptoms. There are many possible causes for eye strain, for example dry eye disease and eye misalignment are two very common causes for eye strain and will require additional treatment. We always recommend visiting our optometrist to assess the underlying cause of your symptoms so that you can get the relief that you need.   

Don't Let Digital Eye Strain Impact Your Vision and Daily Life: Schedule an Eye Exam at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach Today!

According to a survey by the American Optometric Association (AOA), a majority of Americans, nearly 2 out of every 3, report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Additionally, the survey found that a significant number of children, specifically 80% of those aged 10-17, report experiencing symptoms digital eye strain (computer vison syndrome).

At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, we understand the impact that digital eye strain can have on your vision and daily life. If you are experiencing symptoms such as headaches, blurry vision, or dry eyes, it is important to schedule an eye exam to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan. Our team of experienced optometrists are dedicated to providing the highest quality care and have the latest technology and techniques to address digital eye strain. Don't let your symptoms go untreated any longer, schedule an appointment with us today by calling (562) 925-6591 and take the first step towards improving your vision and overall well-being. Patients who suffer from digital eye strain visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

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My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

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I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

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This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

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