Displays are all around us. The majority of modern jobs involve a computer screen, our day-to-day communication revolves around the smartphone displays, and when your day is over, you go to your favorite McDonald’s and stare at the ordering display choosing the right ice cream. Even though we don’t think about it that much, prolonged screen time has a great influence on our eyesight.
Improper workplace settings, high contrast between the natural and artificial lights that illuminate our faces, and undeveloped habits of resting our eyes all affect our overall condition. Though we can’t avoid screen time, the way we sit and look at our screens may have a significant impact on whether or not we get computer vision syndrome.
Digital Eye Strain
Computer vision syndrome, commonly known as digital eye strain, refers to a wide range of issues that arise from prolonged screen time. The most common symptoms that occur from it are:
- Blurry vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Dry eyes
- Soreness and itchiness around the eyes
These symptoms can affect your concentration and prevent you from working or even driving. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to avoid any discomfort caused by digital eye strain, and most of them are very simple to implement in your daily life.
What Causes Eye Discomfort?
The number one enemy of a healthy eye is the blue light that is being emitted from every modern display. Blue light strains the eyes and may produce prolonged redness and discomfort and slowly damage the retina. While the occasional strain is natural, prolonged exposure to a screen might cause long-term problems.
How to Avoid Eye Straining?
First and foremost, let’s talk about your posture. Many individuals spend their days staring down the little displays on their phones or using computers and monitors that aren’t positioned high enough, leading their neck and shoulders to stoop. When positioning your laptop or desktop screen, make sure to put it at the same height as your eyes. You will know that the height is correct if you feel no need to hunch your neck or shoulders.
Screens should also be at a consistent distance, so your eyes aren’t straining as hard to concentrate and refocus as they should.
Displays also prevent you from blinking as often as you should. Because your eyes need hydration and nutrients at all times, we often blink. When you stare at a screen, you blink much less, which causes your eyes to dry up.
The last issue with displays is constant glare. Many people operate with too bright displays or in environments with poor lighting. Over time, this causes dull and unpleasant eye strain. Changing the colors or increasing the contrast on your screen may also help. Some monitors include “eye care” features that may help reduce eye strain by dimming or tinting the screen yellow.
5 Tips to Relieve the Discomfort Caused by Prolonged Screen Time
Whether you’re currently suffering from computer vision syndrome or wish to avoid it altogether, here are five fast tips that can help you:
- Take regular breaks during work.
One simple formula to remember is 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break by staring at someplace at least 20 feet away. Doctors promote this procedure as a terrific method to give your eyes a rest. Your eyes will have a chance to focus on something else and switch focus, which is great for your binocular vision (which we will return to in just a few seconds).
- Focus on something else.
Try to create space for short breaks during the day. If you can, take a walk, or brew a cup of coffee without checking your phone. Make the most of your time away from your computer after work by not immediately turning to other electronic devices. Take the opportunity to obtain some natural light and get vitamin D into your body.
- Do eye exercises.
After all this, would you laugh if we told you that you could exercise your eyes by utilizing your smartphone screens? We’re definitely not joking since there is a mobile app for binocular vision. Already mentioned earlier, binocular vision is the capacity of the brain to acquire and analyze information received by each eye from a single picture.
If your eyes are not completely aligned, you may experience blur, pain, or double vision. The app itself provides simple exercises that, with the help of VR glasses, engage you in training your brain and eyes at the same time.
- Wear blue light glasses.
Blue light might make it difficult to concentrate on the screen, causing your eyes to stress. Blue light glasses improve contrast on your screen, making it easier to concentrate and, as a result, reduce the stress around the eyes.
Another option, if you already wear glasses, is to buy special lenses that have the ability to reflect blue light. This solution usually doesn’t cost much but can create a great impact on your overall condition.
- Take an eye exam.
Have a problem or not, it is good to go for an annual check-up with a professional. A comprehensive eye exam may detect early indicators of vision problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. The earlier your doctor can detect certain conditions, the more successful the therapy will be.
As a consequence of excessive screen usage, an increasing number of individuals are developing vision issues. Many of them believe that their vision will adapt to technology over time. Unfortunately, this is not the case — just because your eyesight seems to be OK does not imply you are immune to digital eye strain.
To avoid as much discomfort as possible, limit your screen time as much as you can, no matter how hard that sounds. Use blue-light-filtering glasses, adapt your workstation, correct your posture and begin training your eye muscles. Not only will your eyes feel better, but you will also start feeling the increase in your concentration, feel more relaxed and use your energy for things that matter to you most.
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