These days, screen time is an essential part of life, whether you’re sending emails at work, surfing the web at home, or watching a movie with friends. However, all this exposure to technology isn’t as good for our eyes as it is entertaining for our minds. If you’re a frequent user of a computer, tablet, or smartphone, use the eye care guide below to safeguard your vision.
How Is Technology Hurting Your Vision?
According to medical professionals, excessive amounts of screen time can result in minor but persistent ocular ailments. For example, the frequency of our eye’s self-cleaning function, blinking, increases when we look at things that are far away, and decreases when we look at objects up close. Therefore, long periods of staring at a screen in front of you can cause dry eye. The resulting grit collection and itching sensation can leave your eyes more susceptible to scratches.
When you stare at objects up close, your pupils contract and the ocular muscles strain to manipulate the size of the lens for optimal focus. Plus, when you stare at high-contrast text or images on an illuminated screen, your eyes strain even more, which often triggers tension headaches.
How Can You Alleviate the Problem?
It’s unrealistic to swear off technology just to improve your eye care regimen. You’ll still have to sit in front of the computer at work or use your GPS to drive your kids around. Still, there are ways to use these devices while minimizing the damage they inflict on your eyes.
The best way to prevent eye strain and dry eye is to stop looking at your screen for at least 10 minutes for every hour of screen time. You can also follow the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds and focus on an object 20 feet away. If you’re watching a movie, pause and head to the kitchen to make some popcorn. At work, get up and stretch your legs by walking to the water cooler. During your time away, your eyes will be able to re-lubricate themselves and relax from their tense, on-screen position.
While you read on-screen articles, lower the contrast between the text and the background, or enable “night mode” on your device for a warmer, soft light that won’t strain your eyes.
If you’re experiencing any eye discomfort due to technology use, make an appointment with the eye care professionals at Kato & Shoji Optometrists in Honolulu, HI. An optometrist will conduct a thorough exam at one of their two locations to get to the root of your ocular issues. They also offer contact lenses, prescription glasses, and Lasik eye surgery, so you can correct your vision in a manner that works for your budget and lifestyle. To learn more about their practice, visit their website, or call (808) 735-8080 to make an appointment today.