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Screen Time and Eye Strain

With more and more of us working from home, we’re consuming more screen time than ever. Face to face catch ups and team meeting are a thing of the past for the moment and zoom seems to have taken over. A common side effect of all this digital use is Eye Strain.

So, what is it?

Eye strain occurs when our eyes get tired from working too hard, such as looking at a screen for a long, uninterrupted period. The symptoms include tired and uncomfortable eyes, they may feel a bit sore or itchy and you may experience headaches or blurred vision as well. Digital eye strain does not cause permanent damage to you eyes but can be annoying.

Here’s our what our Optometrists advise:

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This give your eyes the opportunity to relax.
  • Working from home can easily take over; its important to take regular breaks and stretch your legs. Your eyes get a break, and so do you!
  • Hydrate – ensure you drink plenty of fluids as you work.
  • If your eyes feel tired and uncomfortable, eye drops could help ease your discomfort. Always consult your Optician about using drops.
  • Make sure your set up for working from home is suitable. Have your screen at the right level and the correct seat for where you are working.

Screens & Kids

Short-sightedness (myopia) is increasingly common in children. Family history, environment and carrying out near tasks, such as screen use, have all been linked to the development of myopia. However, there is no clear evidence to suggest that screen time alone is the direct cause. But there is good evidence to suggest that children who spend more time outdoors are at lower risk of developing short-sightedness.

Blue Light

Remember you also get glare and blue light from your screens. We get some natural blue light from the sun but concentrated amounts from digital use can contribute to Dry Eye and Eye Strain. Using screens close to bedtime can contribute to poorer sleep too. This may be because blue light is linked to the suppression of the hormone melatonin which makes us feel tired. Our Clinical Director Alistair suggests no screen use 1 hour before you go to bed.

You can read about our Blue Zero lenses here and if you're struggling with eye strain and increased screen time, make an appointment now.

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