This year, the focus of Save Your Vision Month is on digital eye strain. Digital eye strain can occur from excess usage of devices with LED monitors or blue-light, such as computers or other electronic tablets or phones. According to HealthSmart, people spend an average of 9 hours per day on electronic devices Excess exposure to blue-light emitted from these electronic devices can cause sleep problems, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
What can you do to prevent digital eye strain?
Turn off digital devices at least an hour before bedtime. Did you know blue-light produced from your cellphone keeps you awake since it suppresses the sleep hormone, melatonin? This is often why we find ourselves on social media and browsing our phones late at night — leading to sleeping problems that can lead to exhaustion. Many devices also offer the night-time mode setting that inverts the blue-cool lighting from your phone into a warmer, less vibrant appearance. The night-time mode decreases alertness which generates melatonin, therefore allows your mind to rest.
To prevent your eyes from working harder than needed, be aware of the contrast between your environment lighting and screen: brightness of your device should not be greater than the ambient light.
In addition to being mindful of the impact of your digital devices, it is highly encouraged to have routine check-ups and eye exams. The importance of having your annual eye exams allow doctors to treat your eye health and prevent further problems or diseases from occurring.
20/20/20 Rule: If you are on a computer for long periods wether it be for work, school, or browsing-
1) Every 20 minutes
2) Take a 20 second break from looking at your screen
3) Look at something 20 feet away
Doing this gives your eyes relief from staring at the same object up- close.