Technology has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, with smartphones, laptops, and tablets constantly at our fingertips. However, all of this screen time can negatively affect our eyes. This article will explore how technology is bad for our eyes and what we can do to minimize the damage.
Blue Light and Eye Fatigue
One of the main ways technology harms our eyes is through the blue light emitted by screens. Blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light, has a wavelength that is shorter and more energetic than other colours of light. This makes it more likely to cause damage to the retina, the part of the eye that detects light.
Prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to eye fatigue, which can cause symptoms such as dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. This is because blue light disrupts our circadian rhythms, the internal biological clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When our circadian rhythms are disrupted, it can be harder to fall asleep at night and easier to feel tired during the day.
How to Minimize Blue Light Exposure
To minimize your exposure to blue light and its adverse effects on your eyes, try these tips:
- Use a blue light filter on your device. Many smartphones, laptops, and tablets have built-in blue light filters that can be turned on in the settings. These filters can help to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your device.
- Take frequent breaks. Try to take a break from your device every 20 minutes to rest your eyes.
- Adjust your device’s brightness. The brighter the screen, the more blue light it emits. Try to lower your device’s brightness to the lowest comfortable level.
- Use an anti-glare screen protector. These screen protectors can help to reduce glare and reflection, which can cause eye strain.
- Change the colour temperature of your screen. The colour temperature refers to the warmth or coolness of the light emitted by a net. Warmer colours (such as yellow or orange) emit less blue light than more excellent colours (such as blue or white).
Another way technology is bad for our eyes is through digital eyestrain, also known as computer vision syndrome. Digital eyestrain is a set of symptoms resulting from prolonged use of digital devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. These symptoms can include fatigue, dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision.
How to Prevent Digital Eyestrain
To prevent digital eyestrain, try these tips:
- Position your device at the proper distance. Your device should be about 20-24 inches from your eyes. This will help to reduce the amount of strain on your eyes.
- Adjust the text size. The text on your device should be large enough to read comfortably without straining your eyes.
- Use proper lighting. The lighting in your environment should be bright enough to see the screen but not so bright that it causes glare or reflection.
- Blink frequently. Blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated, preventing dry eyes and eye fatigue.
- Take frequent breaks. Take a break from your device every 20 minutes or so to give your eyes a rest.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition that occurs due to the prolonged use of digital devices. It is a combination of visual symptoms and eye discomfort related to near work, which involves focusing on a screen or other nearby object for an extended period of time. The symptoms of CVS can include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.
Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome
Several factors contribute to the development of CVS, including:
- Prolonged use of digital devices: Spending long hours staring at a screen can cause the muscles in the eyes to fatigue, leading to eye strain and discomfort.
- Poor posture: Sitting in a poor posture while using a computer or other digital device can cause strain on the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Poor lighting: Poor lighting can cause glare and reflection on the screen, making it harder to see and leading to eye strain.
- Uncorrected vision problems: Individuals with uncorrected vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism may experience CVS more frequently.
How to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome
To prevent CVS, try these tips:
- Take frequent breaks: Take a break from your device every 20 minutes to rest your eyes and stretch your body.
- Adjust your workstation: Your workstation should be set up to promote good posture and reduce strain on the neck, shoulders, and back.
- Correct your vision: if you have any vision problems, make sure you have the correct prescription glasses or contact lenses.
- Use proper lighting: The lighting in your environment should be bright enough to see the screen but not so bright that it causes glare or reflection.
- Blink frequently: Blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated, preventing dry eyes and fatigue.
Technology has become a necessary part of our daily lives, but it can also harm our eyes. By being aware of the adverse effects of blue light and digital eyestrain and minimizing our exposure to these risks, we can help protect our eyes and maintain good vision. If you experience any symptoms of CVS, it’s best to see an eye doctor to rule out any underlying issues or get an eye exam.