Let’s face it, we live in a world of digital technology. Kids are watching Peppa Pig on their tablets, teenagers are watching YouTube on their smartphones, adults have to meet their deadlines using their laptops, grandparents are playing Candy Crush on their computers and of course, grandmas can’t miss out on their daily soapies on TV. Whatever our age is, we have all incorporated digital technology in our daily lifestyles.
Here are some of the causes of Digital Eye Strain:
- Throughout the day we are constantly looking at objects at different distances. We are looking straight ahead when walking or driving, and our eyes are converging when we are reading, writing & using computers. The fact that we are using computers for so many hours a day means that our eyes are converging at a specific distance for most of the day which causes strain or spasm of our eye muscles.
- Gazing at the small pixelated font on our computers, along with the bright glowing screens adds to our eye strain.
- How many times do you think an average person looks at their phones per day? Well recent stats say that the average American looks at their phones a shocking 80 times per day. This leads to over exertion of our eye muscles.
- Digital devices emit a blue-violet light that affects our melatonin levels. The blue light causes eye strain and melatonin affects our sleeping patterns. Excessive use of digital devices can actually affect how well we sleep.
- When we are using digital devices, we tend to be so focused on what we’re doing that we forget to blink. When we blink we produce tears. Our blink rate which is usually 17 blinks per minute can be reduced to as little as 12-15 blinks per minute. This may make our eyes feel dry, scratchy and uncomfortable.
The great news is that there are things you can do.
- Insist on getting a Blue Control anti-glare coating on your next pair of glasses. This coating significantly reduces the blue light entering your eyes. It reduces strain and improves your sleeping patterns.
- Take regular breaks whilst you are working. Go for a short walk, get some fresh air or have a little chat with one of your friends.
- Every hour or so, close your eyes for about 10-15 seconds. You can also gently massage your eyeballs with your finger tips. This will improve your tear flow and reduce the effects of dry eyes.
Be kind to your eyes. They allow us to see the beauty our world has to offer every single day.