Technology is woven into every aspect of our lives, as we use it in our communication, careers, entertainment and much more. Although there’s no denying how helpful and convenient technology can be, it can also be quite harmful to our health, especially when it comes to our eyes. One of the most common issues is eye strain, which can have a variety of symptoms including blurry vision, eye pain, headaches, and general fatigue. But instead of trying to cut technology out of your life completely to protect your eyes, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you avoid digital eye strain while enjoying all the technology you love.
Reduce daily blue light consumption
Reducing blue light, particularly in the evening hours, can play a big role in eye health. Not only does blue light impact sleep quality, but it also triggers eye fatigue after prolonged exposure. Digital devices emit uneven amounts of visible light, including large amounts of high energy blue light. Exposure to this type of light has been linked to damaged retinal cells and disruption to the body’s natural sleep cycle by interfering with melatonin production. Focus on limiting your blue light intake once the sun goes down to help protect your eyes and promote healthier sleeping habits.
For those with desk jobs, having to stare at a computer screen for hours at a time is typical. Eye care professionals strongly recommend taking breaks throughout the workday to reduce eye fatigue and unnecessary eye strain. The most encouraged exercise for reducing eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes you should focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Incorporating this simple exercise in your daily work routine can go a long way with giving your eyes proper breaks so they can continue performing at their best.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times - diet plays a major role in overall health, including your eyes. Many of us forget to eat nutrients that directly support the health of our eyes. Optometrists recommend a healthy, balanced diet with lots of green leafy vegetables which provide high levels of anti-oxidants such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin. In addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet, using moisturizing eye drops or blue light reducing glasses, like those from Zeiss, will prevent and nurture dry eyes.
Now that we have a better understanding of the effects that technology has on our eyes, companies have the capability to incorporate settings and features in devices that reduce blue light emission. For example, BenQ’s eye-care™ technology reduces harmful blue light emitted from the screen and eliminates screen flicker, while also constantly adjusting screen brightness based on the user’s surroundings. While screen time also plays a significant role in the development of eye strain, it’s crucial to use quality screens that protect against eye strain and fatigue.Our eyes are vital organs that we need to remember to take care of and nurture. Incorporating these tips and tricks into your daily routine won’t completely eliminate the harmful effects of prolonged digital device use, but they will greatly reduce some of the side effects that we often grow accustomed to.
Dr. Hanish Patel is an optometrist and founding partner of the Eye Associates of New York and the Center for Ophthalmic and Vision Research. Located in the Midtown East, New York City area, Dr. Patel offers complete eye care solutions to improve each of his patient’s eye health and overall vision. Having extensively trained alongside prominent optometrists and ophthalmologists, Dr. Patel works to finds innovative solutions for patients who struggle with issues like severe dry eye, ocular surface disease and irregular corneal issues. Dr. Patel maintains a professional membership as a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry to ensure that he is always up-to-date with the latest eye care advancements.