How to prevent and treat digital eye strain

Dr. Sandy MacPhee explains the 20-20-20 method for avoiding digital eye strain
Optometrist Sandy MacPhee joins Tia and Elizabeth on Upper Michigan Today to talk about digital...
Optometrist Sandy MacPhee joins Tia and Elizabeth on Upper Michigan Today to talk about digital eye strain.(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 11:34 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - It’s nearly impossible to avoid looking at a screen nowadays.

Whether you scroll social media on your cell phone or stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day at work, digital technology has an effect on our eyes, and many of us experience digital eye strain.

Optometrist Sandy MacPhee of Shopko Optical joins Tia Trudgeon and Elizabeth Peterson to explain what causes digital eye strain and how it can be prevented and treated.

But first, stories of the day.

Tia and Elizabeth share an update about the CopperDog150 winners, NMU and MTU sports, and the latest from Finlandia University.

Stories of the day include the CopperDog 150, NMU basketball, NMU and MTU hockey, and an update on Finlandia University's closing.

Now, back to digital eye strain.

If you just watched the above video and now find yourself squinting to refocus, that’s a sign that you’re experiencing strain.

Dr. MacPhee says this can affect anyone, but the longer you look at a screen, the more likely you are to feel its effects.

Digital eye strain symptoms include dry eyes, tension headaches, and an inability to focus your eyes.

Dr. Sandy MacPhee explains digital eye strain and its side effects.

Digital eye strain can be prevented by using the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen time, spend 20 seconds focusing on something 20 feet away.

Dr. MacPhee adds that you should keep your computer and TV screens slightly under eye level, turn down the contrast, and match the brightness levels to the space you’re in.

Blue light filtering glasses can also alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Use the 20-20-20 rule to relieve the symptoms of digital eye strain.

Dr. MacPhee recommends getting your vision checked every year and visiting an optometrist if you regularly experience digital eye strain.

Shopko Optical has its Kids in Focus program to give free eye exams and eyewear to children in need.

You can learn more about the program at

Kids can receive free eye exams through the Kids in Focus program at Shopko Optical.

You can watch Upper Michigan Today on weekdays at 9:00 a.m. on FOX UP.