We look at digital screens everyday. There are screens on your computer, laptop, smartphone, television set, vehicle GPS system and other devices, making them hard to avoid. We stare at screens at work, children use computers at school and we look at them for personal use as well. So it comes as no surprise that, after 8 to 14 hours of screen time every day of the week, your eyes would feel all grainy, dry and hot.
If you stare at a computer screen all day or use other digital devices with screens, then there are some things you should know to help you better manage your eye care in Cape Cod. Here’s some must-know information.
Computer screen blue light
Backlit screen displays are a huge reason why we are exposed to higher than normal amounts of blue light, which leads to digital eyestrain and fatigue, even temporary or permanent damage to your eyesight. But what is blue light?
There is natural blue light, and then there’s digital blue light. Natural blue light is always present, as it makes the sky look blue and plays a role in regulating your sleep and wake cycles. Your body also uses it to increase your alertness and boost your mood and overall wellbeing. You will find artificial blue light in devices with digital screens, including computers, televisions and LED light bulbs, while strong blue light waves are emitted from backlit screen displays on things like smartphones, laptops and e-reader tablets. Unfortunately, too much artificial blue light can have a negative effect on your health.
How to avoid the effects of blue light
Although your eyes naturally filter light, they are not powerful enough to protect you against excessive amounts of blue light. It’s estimated that more than half of adults in the U.S. fix their eyes on electronic or digital screens for a minimum of six hours a day. Here are some steps you can take to protect against eyestrain, and to help your eyes focus better:
- 20/20/20 Rule: The idea behind this rule is to give your eyes regular breaks from blue light exposure. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at something at least 20 feet away.
- Balance the light around you: First, never use a digital device in total darkness. Good ambient lighting is important for balancing the light around your work area, as this helps to reduce screen glare and avoid computer eyestrain.
- Computer glasses: You might consider investing in blue light filtering lenses to avoid absorbing computer blue light. Talk to your eye care specialist to learn more.
- Stop using digital devices before bed: Blue light can keep you awake, so don’t take phones, laptops or tablets to bed with you.
It’s important to take care of your eyes and preserve your vision, especially as you age. Luckily, Bayview Optometrics offers a variety of services geared toward eye care in Cape Cod, including eye exams, professional consultations, prescription lenses and eyewear fitting assistance. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment!