BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday, March 1 marks the start of Save Your Vision Month. This year, the American Optometric Association is promoting awareness around digital eyestrain and the importance of regular eye exams.

Working from home is becoming more common, and with that, device usage is up. Dr. Brad Bloomberg with Bloomberg Eye Care says staring at a screen for long periods of time can be unhealthy for your eyes.

“That excessive amount of computer use leads to dry eye issues and blurry eye issues and eye strain and headaches,” he said.

To try to prevent this, Dr. Bloomberg recommends the 20-20-20 rule.

“That is for every 20 minutes that you’re on the computer, you should look away, preferably out a window or something at a distance, for 20 seconds and try to blink about 20 times while you’re doing that,” he said.

Dr. Bloomberg says that helps to keep your eyes refreshed and well lubricated. He says eye exams are helpful in determining whether you need special glasses for computer use or some type of blue light protection.

Eye exams go beyond just checking your vision, so it’s important to make sure your vision is crisp and clear but also that you’re healthy and normal.

Dr. Nicholas Lawrence with Eye Care Associates says he tells everyone that “vision is more than 20/20” because there are things that can happen behind the scenes that can cause vision problems.

“Things like glaucoma, diabetes in the eye, won’t necessarily just start taking your vision away, but these are things sometimes the doctors… there’s been a handful of times that I’ve diagnosed diabetes before they’ve ever seen a primary care doc just from some of the findings I have,” Dr. Lawrence said.

This is why it’s important to get yearly eye exams.

“The eye is very visual, so if there’s something going on, a lot of times we’re seeing it. So we kind of need to see you to see the things,” Dr. Lawrence said.

Even brain tumors or cancer can be detected through an eye exam.

Most optometrists recommend a yearly routine comprehensive eye exam, even if you have 20/20 vision.