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How Digital Devices Are Affecting Your Eyes

Tuesday, May 15 2018 11:58 AM
Digital Devices

We wake and check our phones, turn on the TV, go to work to sit in front of a laptop or monitor, then go home to Netflix and chill. 

We spend the majority of our days looking at screens, big and small. Research from The Vision Council shows more than 83 percent of Americans use digital devices for more than two hours per day and over half (53 percent) report using two devices simultaneously.  

We're using digital devices more than ever and it's having an impact on our eye health. Not surprisingly more than 60 percent of Americans report symptoms related to digital eye strain including:

  • Dry eyes

  • Headaches

  • Blurred Vision

  • Neck and shoulder pain

Though the majority who use digital devices routinely experience digital eye strain, 71 percent of Americans report they have not discussed their device use and resulting symptoms with their eye doctor.

As a result, most people are unaware of the eyewear and health behaviors that can be employed to help protect eyes from the effects of digital eye strain.

The 20-20-20 rule for healthy digital device use says we should take a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away. It’s a good excuse to stand up, and move your body, and give your eyes a break from the screen. If you are fortunate enough to be near a window, check out what is going on outside. Or, better yet, go outside and take a short walk. Even a trip to the bathroom, water cooler, or coffee pot can give your eyes a much-needed break.

Other recommendations from The Vision Council include:

  • Reducing overhead lighting to eliminate screen glare

  • Positioning your computer screen at arm’s length

  • Increasing text size on devices

You may not be able to reduce your use of digital devices, but you can gain a better understanding of the self-care that is so important to keep your eyes healthy.

Now is a good time to book your annual eye exam. While you’re having your eye health and vision correction needs evaluated, take time to discuss digital device use with your eye doctor, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

(source: American Refractive Surgery Council)

Kristen Lingg
"Even with contacts correcting my poor vision I still had problems with halos around runway lights at night. Immediately after surgery I could see better than I ever had. My vision is better than perfect and halo free."
Kristen Lingg, Pilot - Wichita, KS

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