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Eye Strategies for our Digital Lifestyles

Author: Dr. Kaeleen Franson

Work and school are now in full swing as we enter in to these fall months and that means we are spending even more time using our computers and other digital devices. It seems that the majority of our day is now spent staring at a screen and that means we are putting our eyes through a lot of work! Researchers are looking into the effects of all this screen time and what it does to our eyes, vision, and health.

We have probably all felt that burning sensation and tired eyes after we have been too engrossed in our screens. Why is that? Studies have shown that we blink up to 50% less when looking at digital devices, which can lead to tear evaporation and dry eye. We are also using our focusing system more and maintain stricter eye control than with printed text, which over extended periods of time, can lead to eyestrain and fatigue.

Other studies have shown that the low wavelength blue light that is emitted from digital devices puts more strain on our visual system. Again, this leads to fatigued eyes at the end of the day. Blue light has also been linked to disruptions in our circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep and reach a deeper sleep, and increased risks to macular degeneration.

Computers, phones and tablets are a fact of life nowadays so what is one to do? Here are 5 tips to reduce Digital Eye Strain.

 

  1. Wear computer glasses. Essilor’s Eyezen lens is a new and innovative lens designed to reduce near work eyestrain and has a Smartblue filter that blocks up to 20% of the blue light entering your eye. This lens is great for kids up to adults. It can be used full time in your prescription eyewear or just for digital device use over contact lenses or for those who don’t need distance correction.
  1. Take frequent breaks when using digital devices by following the 20/20/20 rule; look 20 feet away, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This gives your near focusing system a break and reminds you to blink. 
  1. Keep ambient lighting low. Draw curtains and use a desk lamp instead of harsh overhead lights to prevent additional glare on the computer.
  1. Increase text size on your display screen.
  1. Unplug from digital devices when not needed and try not to use devices at least an hour before bed.

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