Digital devices have numerous effects on our eyes and overall wellbeing. Studies show that amid the pandemic most of us are spending more hours using electronic devices than ever before, so it is very important that we’re aware of the negative effects in order to take steps to reduce them.
Viewing the illuminated screens of digital devices has been strongly linked to numerous problematic wellness issues. Long exposure to these glowing electronic displays- such as those found on computers, smartphones, televisions and video game systems- can substantially decrease our wellbeing by leading to: eye strain, dry eye, headaches, vision problems, mood disorders and disruption of healthy sleep patterns.
How does extended screen time affect our eyes?
- Dry Eye: Decreased blink rate (plus decreased quality of blinks) can cause dry eye related issues- leading to discomfort, light sensitivity & blurry vision.
- Digital Eye Strain: Extensive focus on digital devices commonly causes: eye soreness & heaviness, headaches, nausea, neck/shoulder pain & irritability.
- Myopia: The rapidly increasing number of worldwide myopia cases (nearsightedness) has been linked to growing use of computers.
What can we do to reduce these effects?
- Good Posture: Hold digital devices 18 to 24 inches away from yourself.
- Light Control: Dim down screen brightness & check your devices for blue light reduction settings. Screen overlay filters also may be available.
- Take Breaks: After every 20 minutes spent on a gadget, stop & look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. (See 20-20-20 Method)
- Lens Filters: Blue light filters can be built right into your eyeglass lenses to substantially reduce digital light exposure.
Also, be sure to keep up with those annual eye exams, so that your optometrist can thoroughly monitor your eye health and visual acuity!