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Eye Health in the Digital Age: Is Too Much Screen Time A Concern For Your Eyes?

March 10, 2023

Too much time spent staring at a screen might cause eye strain. When you stare at the blue light from a screen, you tend to blink less, and the movement of the screen makes your eyes work harder to focus. We frequently do not place the screen at an ideal distance or angle, which can create additional strain. Many of these factors pile up and can have long-term effects on your vision, particularly in children.

Computer eye strain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), arises as a result of prolonged concentration on a computer screen, causing fatigue and other vision-related difficulties. CVS can be caused by poor lighting, screen glare, insufficient viewing distance, poor seating posture, and other ergonomic difficulties.

Extended computer uses may have the following consequences on your eyes:

  • Eye tiredness: Overuse of your eyes can cause blurred vision, double vision, headaches, and difficulty inconcentrating.
  • Damage to the retina: Digital devices emit blue light, which can reach the retina and damage its blue-light-sensitive cells. This can result in early age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss. Children are more prone than adults to experiencing this when exposed to this high-energy light.
  • Loss of focus flexibility: Loss of focus flexibility is common as we age, but excessive screen usage can impair our capacity to quickly adjust our eyes to see at all distances.
  • Nearsightedness: Screen time can keep our children indoors, which can be harmful to their eye health in the long run. Natural lighting is essential for the development of children’s eyes. Children who spend more time indoors are more likely to develop nearsightedness.
  • Dry and irritated eyes: When staring at a screen, you tend to blink less, causing your eyes to get dry and irritated.
  • Insomnia or various types of sleep disorders: Furthermore, excessive screen usage can have a negative impact on your sleep. When utilized close to bedtime, blue light has been shown to affect the brain’s sleep patterns. The brain interprets the screen light as daylight, which might disrupt the body’s sleep rhythm.

Ways to protect your eyes from too much screen time

There are simple things you can do to reduce your risk of eye strain or damage, such as:

  • Take a break for your eyes: Follow the 20-20-20 rule to decrease eye strain. Every 20 minutes, take a break by staring at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This provides a pause for your eyes and helps them to refocus.
  • Adjust lighting: Most screens offer a brightness control. If your screen is brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes will have to work harder to see. To reduce eye strain, adjust your room lighting or screen lighting and raise the contrast on your screen. 
  • Minimize glare: It is critical that you position the screen so that there is no glare from sunlight or internal light. A glare might aggravate the eye even more.
  • Employ blue light filters: A blue light filter can reduce the quantity of blue light displayed on your screen. Your eyes will feel less weary at the end of the day if you reduce this light.
  • Keep your eyes moist: When your eyes feel dry, consider using artificial tears to moisten them. Not only does the screen time dry up your eyes, but the heaters and air conditioners in your home also further dry them out.
  • Maintain your distance: Keep your screen approximately an arm’s length or 25 inches away from your eyes. When the screen is close to your face, your eyes have to work harder. In addition, the screen should be slightly angled downwards.
  • Have a yearly eye exam: Get a yearly eye exam so your doctor can evaluate your eye health and see if any chronic eye diseases are forming.

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Digital devices are not going away, now they are a part of our everyday lives. Knowing how to care for our eyes is essential to keep them healthy for a lifetime. The negative effects of excessive screen time on your eyes can be easily prevented if you take precautions to reduce eye discomfort. If you detect symptoms emerging, you are most likely not taking the necessary safeguards. If the easy tips listed above do not help, you may have an underlying visual problem, such as eye muscle imbalance or impaired vision, so consult the best eye specialists at Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai to experience the world class facilities.


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