Your Screen Time Is Ruining Your Vision. Here's How to Beat Eye Strain
Eye strain is common these days. Since a majority of tasks can now be done sitting at your home or office through your computer, there is a flip side to this advantage as well. Prolonged exposure to the digital screen (be it your laptop, iPad, smartphone, or any other screen) can cause a lot of harm to one of the most sensitive body parts, eyes.
However, dealing with tired eyes and eye strain is not too difficult. By adapting to some simple lifestyle changes and using specialized lenses like progressive lenses, anti-glare lenses, computer glasses, or blue light lenses, you can reduce the adverse impact of increased screen time on your eyes.
How is screen time affecting your eyes?
There are several effects prolonged screen time has on your eyes. These after-effects of consistent staring at the screen are collectively called computer vision syndrome. It refers to a group of problems related to the eyes and vision that primarily originates from the prolonged use of laptops, computers, smartphones, tablets, or any other form of screen. Eye strain is commonly reported among people who extensively use digital screens over a prolonged period.
Some of the most reported symptoms of computer vision syndrome are:
- Dry eyes
One of the most reported symptoms of eye strain is dry eyes. Dryness in the eyes occurs due to reduced blinking. As you work tirelessly or are engaged in any digital activity, you keep blinking less due to increased focus. It ultimately leads to a condition where the tear film in front of the eye is disrupted or damaged. Dry eyes can be treated by consciously blinking eyes and following the 20-20-20 rule. The rule asks to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus on any fixed object that is around 20 feet away.
- Eye fatigue
Eye fatigue is another major problem that is caused by excessive use of the screen. Losing track of time while being engaged in work or any other activity on screen leads to prolonged focus at a very close distance, leads to eye fatigue. This problem is amplified when the screen starts reflecting glares due to the lack of proper lighting or any other reason. Using anti-glare lenses or computer glasses can help in reducing this problem.
Also, if you use glasses for both near and farsightedness, you would have felt the discomfort in switching the vision. Using progressive lenses considerably reduces the effort and fatigue in switching the vision without any visible difference.
- Blurred vision
Eye strain or digital eye strain is a common cause of blurred eye vision. When the eye gets exerted due to excessive screen time, exposure to harsh lights, and lack of sleep, it leads to eye strain. A problem in focusing, itching in the eye, urge to blink are some of the common symptoms for eye strain. It can be caused by prolonged exposure to screens like laptops, computers, television, mobile phone, etc. Activities like extensive driving, writing, doing minute detailing can also cause eye strain.
How to prevent eye strain caused by screen time?
Digital eye strain caused by excessive screen time can be prevented by adopting several lifestyle changes, and using the right pair of glasses. You need to adhere to some simple procedures of doing things and make minor adjustments in the placements at your workspace.
Here are some simple tips to make your eyes feel more comfortable;
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule of vision
The 20-20-20 rule of vision advises people to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and focus on any fixed object that is 20 feet away (20-20-20). You can set a reminder on your smartphone or your laptop and get an alert every 20 minutes to practice this rule.
- Screen placement
Make sure that your screen is placed between 20 to 30 inches away from your face level. Also, the height of the screen matters a lot. You should not hunch over or stoop to look at your screen. You can adjust both your seating and your screen height to reach a comfortable level.
- Right pair of glasses
Working on the screen is tiring for the body as well as the eyes. Wearing the right pair of glasses can give you added comfort by blocking harmful glare and blue light emitted by the screen. If you wear power lenses for both near and far vision, the problem may be intense. The most effective solution to this is wearing progressive lenses that are much easier to adapt to without any visible marking on the lenses.
Should you visit an optician?
Yes, visiting an optician is recommended if the condition of your eyes is persistent, and there is no improvement even after adopting the said changes. Your optician may prescribe some eye exams that are important to understand the actual condition of your eyes and ascertain the best possible treatment as soon as possible.
- Can screen time damage eyes?
Yes, screen time can damage eyes since it leads to reduced blinking and eye strain. It ultimately leads to tired eyes and blurred vision.
- Which screen colour is good for eyes?
Generally, white background with black text is the most comfortable colour combination for the eyes. You can also opt for other combinations with a light background and dark text. Higher the contrast, the higher the comfort.
- What are the symptoms of too much screen time?
- Tired eyes
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Loss of focus
- Disturbed sleep
- Does screen time affect stress & mental health?
Yes, excessive screen time directly affects your mental health. It is one of the primary causes of low self-control, low curiosity, poor emotional stability, and low sociability.