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14 Aug 2017
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13 | Follow Answer Views: 416
2 Answers

Dr. Meera Mohan

answered on 1 year ago

The amount of time we spend staring at screens has increased dramatically in the last few years. We know that our sedentary lifestyles spent staring at screens impacts our physical health. Many people have experienced eye strain after prolonged use of electronic devices Because they emit HEV light (also called blue light), staring at phone and tablet screens may actually harm our eyes permanently. HEV light is that portion of the visible light spectrum that comprises light with the shortest wavelengths, which carry the greatest potential to damage living tissue. “Many eye care providers are concerned about the potentially damaging effects of high-energy visible (HEV) light emitted by digital devices because laboratory and animal studies have shown exposure to high levels of HEV light can damage tissue in the retina of the eye in a way that appears consistent with retinal changes associated with macular degeneration, a leading cause of permanent vision loss in older adults,” says Dr. Heiting. “But no one knows for sure at this point if prolonged use of digital devices causes sufficient exposure to HEV light to cause permanent eye damage.”

The amount of HEV light exposure a person receives depends on many factors, including screen technology, screen size, screen brightness, distance from the screen to the user’s face, and duration of use. Even though smartphones have small screens, they potentially could cause greater cumulative HEV light exposure than a large-screen TV.

Part of the problem is that we tend to open our eyelids wider and blink less frequently when we’re staring at screens. Fatigue kicks in because we’re focusing on a screen at a fixed distance for a prolonged period without looking away.

What can you do to protect yourself?

1. Maintain a comfortable working distance at the computer (close to arm’s length from the screen) and avoid hunching closer and closer.

2. When using a phone keep the screen as far away from your eyes as comfortably possible the greater the distance your phone is from your eye, the less eye strain it is likely to cause provided the print size and images are large enough for comfortable viewing.

3. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look off into the distance at something 20 feet away. This is called the “20-20-20 rule” by many eye care providers, and it relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye, relaxes the muscles outside the eyes that converge the eyes (points them inward to stay aligned on near objects), and stimulates blinking to remoisten the surface of the eyes all comforting things!

4. Get an eye exam. Even minor problems with your eyesight can increase your risk for digital eye strain. Also, ask your eye care professional about the best type of glasses for your digital viewing needs. You might benefit from eyewear specifically prescribed for computer or other digital device use.

5. Ask your eye care provider about glasses that block blue light. There are a number of brands of eyeglass lenses and coatings that can reduce your exposure to HEV light when using digital devices.

6. Make sure your eyeglass lenses (if you need them) have an anti-reflective (AR) coating. Eliminating reflections from your lenses can increase viewing comfort and reduce eye strain.

7. Go outside and play more!

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I spend a lot of hours working in front of screens and had the same problem. There are apps available that reduce your screen's color temperature and they have saved my vision.

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