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How many hours per day do you spend on a digital device? Whether it’s in the workplace, at school or at home, Americans are spending an average of seven hours a day on their devices by performing tasks like checking the weather, downloading recipes, shopping and doing research. The light emitted from these screens is called blue light, which is a high energy (HEV) light with short wavelengths that penetrate deep into the eye. Blue light can have a negative effect on your vision, but there are ways to protect your eyes.
If you are experiencing eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision and/or neck and shoulder pain, it could be related to blue light. In a study by the Vision Council, it was found that 68.5 percent of Americans have not informed their eyecare provider about their digital device usage. These short term problems can turn into long term issues. Blue light can be damaging to the retina, and puts you at a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. This damaging light also holds back the natural production of melatonin, which can disrupt a good night’s sleep.
There are measures you can take on your own to relieve digital eye strain. Take breaks from looking at your device. The 20-20-20 rule involves taking a 20-second break from your screen every 20 minutes and looking at something that is 20 feet away. Other methods of relief for your eyes include:
- Increasing the text size on your screen
- Reducing light to take the glare off your screen
- Making sure you are using an LCD screen, which has anti-reflective properties
- Adjust your screen display settings to be sure brightness is consistent among all devices
- Blink more often
- Consider computer glasses
Our doctors can discuss your digital habits and let you know what eyewear and eye care solutions are available to reduce your exposure to blue light. Schedule an eye exam today.