The amount of time we spend on screens, computer and otherwise, is growing exponentially. Even without data, you can look at how your own life has changed in the last fifteen years through the daily use of technological screens. Though computers have been in offices for longer, they have taken over as the tool of choice for many professions.
They’ve even impacted our personal lives. We find recipes for cookies on our smartphones, read books and magazines on tablets, and can even find a new girlfriend or boyfriend with the help of a few apps on our smartphones. But, all of that screen time might just be hurting your eyes. Keep reading to learn about digital eye strain and how to prevent it.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome, refers to a set of issues that come from looking at fixed screens that emit blue light. Symptoms usually include eye pain, blurred vision, red eyes, and dry eyes. Staring at screens causes us to blink less, and our eyes have to constantly refocus on the changing information on the screen.
Who is at risk?
People who already have eye issues (and need glasses or contact lenses) are at more risk of complications that come from prolonged computer use. But, as we get older, our eyes also have a harder time focusing on objects near and further away from us. So, even though everyone is at risk, there are some people who should be especially careful.
How can I prevent Digital Eye Strain?
The 20-20-20 rule is an easy way to start keeping track of your eye health. For every twenty minutes you spend looking at a screen, take a twenty-second break to look at something about twenty feet away. This will give your eyes a chance to adjust to something further away and rest the muscles that are constantly flexed when you are looking at a screen.