Is Screen Time Really Bad for Our Eyes?

Many people have spent more time at home than ever, relying on televisions, video games, computers, and phones to fill the time. Is all of this screen time hazardous for our eyes?

The Risks of Too Much Screen Time

Eye strain can be caused by staring at a screen for too long. 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 need to place the screen at an ideal distance or angle, which can create additional strain. These factors pile up and can have long-term repercussions on your vision, especially in children.

Eye fatigue- Double vision, headaches, and difficulty concentrating can result from excessive eye use.

Dry and irritated eyes- When staring at a screen, you tend to blink less, causing your eyes to get dry and irritated. It is best to avoid dry eyes since they can harm your eye's health and cause poor vision.

Loss of focus flexibility- Loss of focus flexibility is common as we age. Still, excessive screen usage can impair our ability to quickly shift our eyes to see at all distances.

Nearsightedness- Screen time can keep our children indoors, which can harm their eye health in the long run. Natural lighting is essential for the development of children's eyes. According to research, children who spend more time indoors are more likely to develop nearsightedness.

Damage to the retina- Digital devices emit blue light, which can reach the inner lining of the back of your eye (retina). Studies have shown blue light to harm light-sensitive cells in the retina.

This can result in early age-related macular degeneration, leading to vision loss. According to the American Optometric Association, children are more prone than adults to experience this when exposed to this high-energy light.

Furthermore, excessive screen usage can harm 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 sunshine, which might disrupt the body's sleep schedule

Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Safe From Too Much Screen Time

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

Adjust the lighting- Most screens offer a brightness control. If your screen is brighter than the ambient light, your eyes must work harder to see. To alleviate eye strain, adjust your room lighting or screen illumination and raise the contrast on your screen.

Allow your eyes to rest- The American Ophthalmological Society suggests following the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break by staring at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This provides a pause for your eyes and helps them to refocus.

Keep your eyes moisturized- When they feel dry, consider using artificial tears to moisten them. Not only does screen time dry up your eyes, but so can the heaters and air conditioners in your home.

Keep your distance- Keep your screen about 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 angle should have you gazing slightly downward.

Reduce glare- You must position the screen so that no glare from sunlight or interior light is produced. A glare might aggravate the eye even more.

Blue light filters- It reduces 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.

Yearly eye exam- Schedule a yearly eye exam with your doctor so that they can check your eye health and see if any chronic eye conditions are developing.

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