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Tips for Digital Eye Care in a Modern World

When you think about the average time you spend sitting at your desk, holding a laptop or tablet, or looking down at your smartphone, you’ll quickly realize the number of hours you spend per day in front of a digital screen. Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, affects every 2 out of 3 Americans who are frequently connected to digital devices. Most digital eye strain symptoms are temporary but do include blurred vision, double vision, itchy eyes, dry eyes, increased light sensitivity, redness, difficulty focusing and fatigue.

In recent years there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the term “blue light” and how it impacts visual health. While sunlight naturally contains different wavelengths and colors of light, exposure to the blue spectrum of light with the rising usage of LED lights, computer screens and mobile devices on a regular basis has many people wondering about the potential harm to visual acuity as well as metabolism and sleep habits. Because the eye does not block blue light well, eye doctors recommend 100% UV blocking sunglasses when you are outdoors but even without them only about 1% of UV light hits the retina. By comparison, most blue light reaches the back of the eye. Too much blue light exposure can not only cause digital eye strain but lead to more serious problems such as retinal damage and age-related macular degeneration. Both blue light blocking glasses and blue light blocking filters for your digital devices are recommended to protect the eyes from the specific type of blue light emitted from electronic devices known as high-energy visible light. 

Tips for digital eye care in a modern world can significantly improve symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Making simple changes to your environment will go a long way toward improving both the quality of your vision and any aching, lingering side effects you may currently be experiencing because of the time your eyes spend focused on screens. Reducing glare and harsh reflections is one of the easiest modifications you can make. When our eyes try to adjust to glare, we begin to squint and furrow our brow causing both eye strain and headache. Modifying the room lighting can eliminate these issues. Improving posture when sitting in front of your computer screen, keeping knees at a 90-degree angle with both feet flat on the floor, back straight yet slightly arched will keep the body in proper alignment as you work. Changing your focusing power plays a significant role in improving digital eye strain. For those that work with multiple monitors or who switch back from paperwork on the desk to refocusing the eyes back up to the screen, eye fatigue and neck problems are common. If neither of these options can be avoided, consider a document holder for paperwork that elevates the eyes closer to the monitor versus flat on the desk where your eyes and neck are forced to look down. Make sure the monitor is between 20-26 inches from your face or an arm’s distance, centered straight in front of you, and adjust the monitor so that the top line of the screen is at or slightly below eye level. Changing the ergonomics of your workspace will improve your vision quality. 

Lastly, another tip for digital eye care in the modern world is to blink more and use artificial tear eye drops. Dry eye symptoms increase because you blink about 1/3 less often when on a digital device, additionally many of those blinks are considered incomplete because the upper eyelid does not completely cover the cornea, so it is lubricated less often. 
For a comprehensive eye exam, visit Arizona Eye Specialists by calling 602-254-7255 or clicking WEBSITE.