Use the Digital 20-20-20 Rule

March is Save Your Vision Month, a time to think seriously about your eye health and make a commitment to yearly eye exams in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and throughout Hampton Roads.

Another way to help your vision and take care of your eyes involves digital usage, particularly video gamers. The American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 20-20-20 Rule encourages gamers to give their eyes a 20-second rest every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away. Besides being good for your eyes, this rule will give you a competitive advantage over your opponent.

Our eye doctors in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake have been helping adults and children with digital eye strain since 2010.

The AOA’s 2017 American Eye-Q survey revealed that 41 percent of Americans spend more than four hours a week playing video games. Our eye doctors agree that staring at digital devices can lead to digital eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, among other things. Yet, only 21 percent of Eye-Q respondents have talked to an eye doctor about the amount of time spent playing video games.

In addition to encouraging players to discuss game usage with us, here are some tips on how to help ease eye discomfort:

• Level up with the AOA 20-20-20 Rule: When you are using any electronic gaming device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.

• Position yourself: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your gaming device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.

• Beat the glare: Our eye doctors in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake as well as the AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.

• Consider buying protective eyewear: Experiment with blue light filter glasses to limit the blue light beaming from your screen.

• Power down before you turn in: Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.

Those who spend excessive time in front of screens may experience physical discomfort, like the nearly one-third of gamers who reported headaches or blurry vision in the survey. Save Your Vision Month is the perfect time to prioritize eye health by practicing the 20-20-20 Rule.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms due to prolonged exposure to digital devices, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor at (757) 966-2206.

• digital eye strain
• dry eyes
• eye irritation (burning and stinging)
• blurred vision
• sleep problems
• headaches
• neck and shoulder pain

We hope you will make eye examinations a part of your yearly preventative health care! If you have any questions, please contact us at (757) 966-2206.


Since 2010, our eye doctors in Chesapeake have provided families in Virginia Beach and Norfolk with the best eye care possible. Our eye clinic is rooted in the philosophy of good old fashioned honesty and customer service – and our patients appreciate that. Our eye doctors and staff can provide a comprehensive eye examination for digital eye strain, eye exams, glasses, contacts, co-management of surgical patients, and more.

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