It’s easy to spend a lot of time on digital devices these days. Even if you don’t play games on your phone, you’re probably still relying on these devices to work, check emails, shop for groceries, pay bills and more. According to this study from the Washington Post, 50 percent of teens admit they’re addicted to their phones and 27 percent of parents say they are, too.
Eye doctors are finding that digital devices can lead to a wide range of effects, including digital eye strain and fatigue. If you’ve noticed your eyes feeling tired, dry and itchy, it’s possible that too much screentime is to blame. But how much is too much?
What the Research Says
It’s difficult to put a precise number on how much screentime is acceptable. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours a day for kids and teens. Other eye specialists consider three hours a day to be substantial for adults. Of course, most of us probably exceed this limit.
So why is excessive screentime a problem? Early laboratory studies show that it’s possible for blue light to damage cells in the retina. This can lead to eye strain and focusing problems. We still have a lot to learn, as there is no conclusive evidence that says blue light causes long-term damage. Nevertheless, eye fatigue is a nuisance, especially if you have a desk job or wear contacts.
Moderation Makes a Difference
Digital eye strain can lead to dry eyes and focusing problems, which can interfere with work and play. Also, because you blink less often when you’re using a computer or tablet, you might experience burning or stinging in the eyes. For these reasons, ophthalmologists recommend using digital devices in moderation. This may seem difficult to do, but it can make all the difference in how your eyes feel.
Additional steps you can take to protect your vision are:
- Wear blue light blocking glasses
- Keep your distance from the device (about 25 feet away)
- Take frequent breaks
- Reduce glare
- Adjust lighting
- Use lubricating drops
While eye strain is typically not serious, it’s still frustrating and uncomfortable. By following the tips above and moderating usage when possible, your eyes should feel better. If you continue to experience symptoms, contact Empire Retina Consultants today.