The average American spends seven or more hours per day on electronic devices, and many individuals use multiple devices simultaneously. Research shows that too much screen time is posing a hazard to our vision, but few are willing to make a change until their vision is affected (Source: Yahoo News).
For years, eye care professionals have cautioned that overexposure to blue light could be more harmful than we realize. Electronic devices emit high-energy light waves that penetrate deep within the eyes and can cause chronic issues such as:
- Shoulder pain
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Sleep problems
- Dry eye
From smart phones and tablets to LED monitors and flat-screen televisions, we are constantly exposing our eyes to blue light and putting ourselves at risk for eye damage. Although we cannot back-pedal when it comes to technology, we can implement some guidelines to safeguard our vision. Here are some ways that you can limit your exposure to blue-light and reduce your risk for vision-related issues:
- Give your electronics an early bedtime. Turn off digital devices at least one hour before you go to bed, and don’t power them back up until morning. Blue light suppresses melatonin levels and can cause insomnia.
- Keep your distance. Increase the distance between you and your digital device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, instead of putting the device closer to your eyes.
- Make your devices work for you. Adjust your device settings to reduce glare on screens or use a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
- Implement the 20-20-20 rule. When you are using any device or computer, take a 20-second break and look away from the screen every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
- Call your eye care professional. Every year, schedule a full eye exam to maintain your vision health. Contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience any changes in your vision.