In this digital age, screens are an unavoidable part of our daily routine. From working on computers to scrolling through social media on our smartphones, we spend a significant amount of time staring at screens. However, constant exposure to screens can have adverse effects on our eyes, leading to various eye health problems.
The screens on our favorite electronic devices emit a type of light called blue light. Blue light is different from other colors on the visible spectrum because it has a shorter wavelength, which means it produces more energy. While blue light is not inherently harmful, excessive exposure to it can have negative effects on our eyes and overall health.
In this blog, we will explore the impact of screen time on eye health and ways to reduce the effects.
Increased risk of eye strain and fatigue
Exposure to blue light can cause eye strain and fatigue. Research shows that spending over two hours a day on digital devices can increase your risk of developing computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is a group of eye and vision-related problems that causes symptoms like eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision.
Increased risk of myopia
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition where distant objects appear blurry but objects up close are clear. The number of people with myopia has been increasing in recent years, especially among children and teenagers who spend a lot of time on digital devices. Research suggests that excessive screen time can contribute to the development of myopia. To help protect our little one’s eyes, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that kids limit their screen time to no more than two hours per day.
Increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a condition that affects the macula, a part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision. Symptoms of AMD can include blurry or distorted vision, difficulty seeing in low light conditions, and the need for brighter lighting when reading or doing close work. Studies show that blue light exposure may increase your risk of developing AMD.
Ways to reduce the effects of screen time on eye health
Here are some tips to reduce the impact of screen time on eye health:
- Take frequent breaks: Follow the 20-20-20 rule, which means taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away.
- Adjust screen settings: Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size of the screen to reduce eye strain.
- Use anti-glare screens: Anti-glare screens can help minimize screen glare and reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes.
- Blink often: Blinking helps to keep the eyes moist and reduces the risk of dry eyes.
- Limit screen time: Try to limit screen time to no more than two hours per day, particularly for children.
- Get regular eye exams: Regular eye exams can detect eye problems early and prevent them from getting worse.
By taking frequent breaks, adjusting the brightness and color settings on our screens, and limiting the amount of time we spend staring at screens, we can take care of our eyes and avoid issues! And let’s not forget the importance of regular eye exams and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you have any eye health concerns, contact us today to schedule an eye exam at our office in Coral Gables or Palmetto Bay.