As reported by Nielsen, the average American spends roughly 10 hours every single day in front of digital screens. This includes computers, iPads, laptops and smartphones. While a major contributor to a slew of health issues, this increased exposure has also led many to experience an increase in symptoms associated with computer eye strain and fatigue. And, while previously believed to be only a temporary irritant, professionals may soon be changing their stance.
Common Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain
According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of eye fatigue are:
- Concentration difficulties
- Double vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Dry and irritated eyes
Have any of these symptoms? It may be time to address them. While previously it was believed that these effects were only temporary, new findings have led researchers to conclude otherwise.
Digital Screens and Long-Term Eye Health
For years, the possibility of long-term effects due to increased digital light exposure have been dismissed—until now. In a recent study conducted by Complutense University of Madrid, researchers found that LED exposure emitted through tablets increased eye cell damage in rats by 23%. Eye cell damage is linked to severe syndromes, including vision loss. While further studies will need to be conducted to confirm these findings, preventative measures can be taken to protect your eyes.
Tips for Combatting Digital Exposure
One of the easiest ways to combat eye strain and other visual impairments is to limit screen time. This could mean forgoing e-readers for traditional print, taking up a hobby to relax rather than watching TV and even limiting time spent on smartphones. After all, screen binges have been linked to other consequences, including increased rates of obesity and related diseases. However, for many of us, changes to these habits may not be enough.
If you are like the millions of individuals employed full-time in a field that requires extensive computer use, limiting screen time can feel impossible. Luckily, there are simple habits you can adopt to protect your eyesight.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Supported by the National Eye Institute, the 20-20-20 rule encourages screen users to prevent computer eye strain and other irritations by simply looking 20 feet ahead, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
Digital computer glasses are eyewear specially designed to protect your eyes from prolonged screen usage by blocking harmful blue light and other emissions. Our own DigiTec™ lenses also reduce screen glare and augment color contrast for a more pleasing viewing experience.
Want more ideas for protecting your vision? Check out “4 Simple Tips to Promote Eye Health”.