We’re here, our last installment in our Save Your Vision series. If you haven’t checked out our other posts, click here to see a full roundup of each post. These are great tips for taking good care of your vision, so you won’t want to miss them.
In our last post, we’re chatting about digital eye strain. As we use more and more devices, we begin to see the effects of digital eye strain more and more. Digital eye strain is defined as the physical discomfort experienced after two or more hours of staring at a screen. You might experience symptoms like dry, red or irritated eyes, blurred vision, fatigued eyes and back, neck or shoulder pain. You may also experience headaches. The symptoms of digital eye strain are not permanent and should dissipate after you discontinue use of digital devices. But, there could be long term damage as a result of digital eye strain.
The strain that focusing on mid-range digital screens causes our eyes tires the eye’s focusing system, causing possible long term damage. Another damaging element of digital eye strain and digital devices is the high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light emitted by these devices. Research suggests that overexposure to HEV light can damage the retina and increase the likelihood and severity of eye disorders like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (source).
The Vision Council finds that six in 10 adults are unaware of the harmful consequences of HEV light – chances are you may be one of them. Here’s what you should know and how you can help reduce the likelihood of the long term damaging effects of digital eye strain;
1. The optical industry has developed several technologies that help address the causes of digital eye strain. Computer glasses are designed for the mid-distance range of computer screens, and they help bring digital content into focus. Computer glasses can be combined with special lens coatings and tints to help reduce screen glare and block out harmful HEV and blue-violet light.
2. Always be sure to use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Be sure your workstation is optimized for your eyes with proper lighting, seat adjustments and monitor settings.
4. Enlarge your computer’s text, this can also be done on your smartphones and tablets. Enlarging the text helps to reduce strain.
5. This may be the simplest thing you can do – remember to blink. Staring at computer screens can dry your eyes. If you think you may be suffering from chronic dry eyes – schedule an appointment and we can help you.
If you spend a lot of your time behind the screen and find that you are suffering from the symptoms of digital eye strain, stop in and let Dr. A discuss options for how to help you. There are a wide range of options including computer glasses.
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