The effects of screen time on your eyes

For a lot of us, going to work means looking at a computer screen eight hours a day and often, we then go home to relax from our tiresome day by scrolling our newsfeeds on our phone and settling down in front of the TV. We have all heard that screen time can hurt your eyes, but what effect does it actually have? 

Firstly, our eyes are prone to drying out when we look at screens, as we tend to blink less. This is a result of the ‘blue light’ emitted by devices, which is one of the shortest yet highest-energy wavelengths humans can perceive. It is estimated we blink only half as much as usual when looking at our digital devices. Less blinking leads to irritation and eye strain, which can further lead to headaches and even cause stress. 

Another effect of blue light on our eyes is the potential to damage retinal cells. These may cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration. 

Blue light boosts attention, reaction time and moods which is great during the daytime but if you are using your devices at night, it makes it harder to fall asleep. It has been to suppress the production of melatonin, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. 

The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor say prolonged computer use can result in symptoms worsening overtime, so treatment is recommended early on. Some tips for reducing the damage your screen time is causing include: 

  • Remind yourself to blink
  • Adjust the brightness on your screen to match the surrounding light
  • Moisturising eye drops
  • Put a matte screen filter over your computer screen 
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your computer screen and focus on something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

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