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Does Screen Time Affect Your Eyes?

Every week, people spend countless hours staring at their screens. Many of them have jobs that involve working with a computer and then go home to watch Netflix on their flat screen TV, laptop or tablet. Unfortunately, an abundance of screen time can harm your eyes. Here’s what you should know about how screens can affect your eye health, along with some tips on reducing the damage caused.

The Negatives of Too Much Screen Time

To start off, how can you tell if your electronic devices are negatively affecting your eyes? While the symptoms may vary, the overuse of screens is most commonly linked to these four conditions in patients:

• Eyestrain
• Dry eye
• Insomnia
• Headaches

Other possible symptoms might include blurred vision, eye fatigue, red eyes, eye twitching, and neck and shoulder pain.

Protecting Ocular Health
If you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms, here are a few simple ways you can find relief:

Lower the lighting. Bright screens are harder for our eyes to look at, especially if they’re much brighter than the surrounding room. Try lowering the lighting on your device, along with investing in a matte screen filter to reduce glare.
Make some space. Your device should always be held at arm’s length to reduce the risk of eyestrain. If your laptop or cellphone is more than 25 inches away from you, your eyes are being overworked.
Increase moisture. Since screens cause ocular dryness, try subtly upping the humidity in your environment with a humidifier in your home or office space. Additionally, artificial tears and/or moisturizing eyedrops can provide relief.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Screen breaks are vital to your ocular health. Every 20 minutes, take a break by focusing your eyes on an object 20 feet away for the duration of 20 seconds.
No screens at bedtime. The blue light emitted by electronic screens has long been linked to insomnia, due to its believed disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm. To help ensure a more restful slumber, we suggest that you stop using screens an hour or two before bedtime, or at least switch to your device’s nighttime settings.

Book an Eye Exam with Our Calgary Optometrists
If you haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam recently, consider booking an appointment at Crowfoot Vision Centre, our Calgary clinic, where expert optometrists will fully assess your vision and health. Contact us today to schedule your visit and learn more about our services.

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