Are Electronics Damaging Your Eyes?

14 Jun 2016

Technology has certainly become more advanced over the past few years, but the majority of technological advances have relied heavily on the use of digital devices. That means to enjoy or utilise the technology, you must also stare at a screen.

Excessive screen time could lead to digital eye strain, according to a new American study by the Vision Council. The study concluded that 65 percent of those surveyed reported eye strain, with the highest number of those reporting strains being individuals under the age of 30. Eye care professionals are also noticing an influx in patients with eye problems. Patients come in reporting symptoms of digital eye strain, such as dry eyes, head and neck pain, migraines and even blurry vision.

While the study did open the eyes of professionals as well as consumers, not all eye care professionals feel that digital devices will damage the eyes. One thing they do agree upon, however, is that digital eye strain is a common culprit for causing dry eyes.

Relieving Dry Eyes – More Than Just Looking Away from a Screen

Some people have jobs or tasks that require them to stare at screens for long periods of time. While frequent breaks are best for the eyes, there are other things you can do to prevent chronic dry eyes. These include:

1. Monitoring breaks

If you are online or using a screen, you should follow the 20-20-20 rule. That means at the 20-minute mark, look 20 feet away from your computer screen and do so for at least 20 seconds. More ideal would be every 10 minutes. This forces you to blink, which naturally washes your eyes.

2. Keep from squinting

Squinting at a screen reduces your blink rate. If you cannot make out clearly what you are reading on the screen, get your eyes checked. There are laser corrective procedures that can help correct your reading vision.

3. Use artificial tears

Do not use the drops that are designed for redness, as they do not do the same thing. Artificial tears are designed to lubricate.

4. Take supplements

Sometimes, adding Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can produce more natural tears.

5. Use a humidifier

When the air conditioner or heating unit is in full swing, the air can become unnaturally dry. Use a humidifier to moisten the air and alleviate your dry eye symptoms.

While looking at a screen most likely will not lead to permanent damage, you should still have your eyes checked at least once a year. If you notice other vision issues developing, you may want to consider laser eye surgery.

Meet with a surgical eyecare professional at Optilase today to assess your candidacy for laser vision correction surgery. You can book your consultation online.

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