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|The average computer user blinks seven times a minute, the normal rate is twenty times per minute. This can cause Digital Eye Strain (DES).|
As anyone who spends their days peering into a computer screen for 6-8 hours can attest, the struggle to keep your eyes from feeling strained and bleary is real. In fact, at the end of most days, it feels like we stared directly into a solar eclipse for an extended time, and find ourselves venturing to our cars in a catatonic, hypnotized state.
According to the National Institutes of Health, excessive screen time causes Digital Eye Strain (DES), aka computer vision syndrome. DES can lead to blurred vision (while looking at a computer screen or into the distance), dry and tired eyes, headaches, and sensitivity to bright lights, among other things. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759).
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) published a list of tips to reduce DES on their website (more at https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage), and chief among them is the recommendation to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Pomy is a free app (Windows and Mac OS) which helps computer users follow the AAO’s recommendation. After downloading and installing this light-weight widget, Pomy will automatically start a 20-minute timer, after which a reminder screen will appear, asking you to stare at an object 20’ away for 20 seconds. If you’re in the middle of an all-important screen moment, you can hit escape and the screen will disappear.
As someone who falls into the heavy-user category for screen-time, I can vouch for Pomy’s effectiveness. I’ve used it every day for two weeks, and this past Monday, when I forgot to turn it on, I found myself bleary-eyed at day’s end. You can download Pomy for Mac OS and Windows here: https://vanejung.com/pomy.