There is a reliance on technology today that is unprecedented in our society. Millions of people spend hours each day connected to some type of electronic device. Whether necessary or not, usage of handheld devices, tables, Smartphones, video games, computers, and television is at an all-time high. While some reports encourage us to minimize our screen time in order to prevent permanent eye damage, current findings suggest that the eyes are more resilient than some may want us to believe. However, extreme irritation may result from eye strain caused by excessive use of electronics. For this reason, it is important to understand how technology can affect your eyes, and how to minimize your risks for eye strain.
Computer Use and Eye Strain
Blinking is a natural act that we do about 18 times a minute as we go about our day. However, research has demonstrated that the rate of blinking drops significantly when we are focused on a computer screen or other electronic device. At these times, and also when we are performing a task like reading or writing, blinking slows to just 9 times per minute. The less we blink, the dryer and more irritated eyes become.
Give up Electronics? Not Necessary!
You do not have to completely avoid your Smartphone or other devices in order to protect your eyes. Developing healthy usage habits is all that is necessary.
• Sit at least 2 feet away from your computer monitor while working. The ideal position of your screen allows you to gaze slightly downward, rather than looking up.
• Take breaks from your computer, Smartphone, or other device every so often. This may involve closing your eyes for a few seconds or looking away from your screen momentarily. For the greatest benefit, focus on an object in the distance for a few seconds before returning to your task.
• Blinking is a must! If necessary, remind yourself to blink while reading or using an electronic device.
• Eyes need rest. Getting adequate sleep each night can counterbalance the strain that occurs during waking hours.
• If your eyes frequently feel dry, keep artificial tears accessible. Chronic dry eye should be evaluated by your eye doctor.
Patients in the areas of Alliance, Canfield, and North Canton receive expert eye care at Roholt Vision Institute. Contact us to schedule your annual eye exam.