Blog
Apr 06 2017

The Impact of Screen Time on Your Eye Sight

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. These famous words of Charles Dickens are playing out today more than ever in the area of technology.

We are living in the best of times to obtain knowledge at the push of a button. But smartphones, laptops, iPads, video games, smart boards, tablets can all add up daily total screen time. Research shows the impact can adversely affect your eyes, your focusing, your moods, and even your ability to sleep and relax. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended only two hours of screentime per day as a standard for children.

What are the symptoms of too much screen time on the eye, and how can you combat these symtoms?

Doctors are seeing an increase in dry eye syndrome because patients do not blink as often when they are staring at the screen for a prolonged period of time. This causes burning or watery eyes, rubbing of the eyes, and frequent headaches.

The key to combatting these symptoms is to consciously blink more, use rewetting eye drops, and take frequent breaks. Perform a visual exercise where every 5-10 minutes, you focus on a distant target for 10 seconds, then return to your screen. Your eye care practitioner can also recommend specialized computer lenses with anti-glare properties to mininmize fatigue.

It is important to reiterated that screentime is not bad if used with moderation and freqeunt breaks. In fact, many computer programs are used to help patients strengthen their eye muscles and promote hand eye coordination. So the key is to enjoy the use of your technology, and remember that balance is the key to life.

So take frequent breaks, and use preventative measures such as re-wetting eye drops, anti-glare computer lenses, and eye exercises to minimize negative impact of screen time on your precious eye sight.

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

Apr 06 2017

Spotlight on Blue Light

You wouldn’t dream of going to the beach without sunscreen on, or snow skiing without goggles to protect you from ”snow blindness”..... So what do you do to protect your eyes from potentially harmful blue light from screens? Blue light exposure is at an all time high, with the average viewer spending greater than 5 hours per day behind some sort of screen device.

New research is exploring the effect of light rays emitted from phones, computers, television, and some LCD lights to see the effect on the retina and lens of the eye. The blue light spectrum is a portion of the visible light spectrum similar to UV-A and UV-B. UV-B exposure has been a known cause of cortical cataracts. This is leading researchers to conclude that this exposure needs to be studied more.

“New research evidence suggests that high energy visible light from artificial sources may not be entirely harmless,” from Karl Citek, O.D.,Ph.D., Chairman of the American Optometric Association Commission on Ophthalmic Standards. With this in mind, more research globally on this portion of the light spectrum has now ensued.

One of the potential effects are the increased risk of macular degeneration because the delicate macular cells of the retina can be affected by long term exposure to certain wavelengths. Another event being studied is the effect on sleep habits.

You see, blue light exposure right before bedtime may inhibit sleep because the blue light keeps us alert, and blocks the production of melatonin which puts us to sleep. So stopping use of your computer one hour before bedtime is recommended in order for the body to properly produce the melatonin you need to fall asleep easily.

Treatments for limiting exposure to harmful blue rays comes in the form of tinted lenses. Yellow, amber, orange or red lenses can protect more fully from any potential hazards of blue light exposure. There are also anti-reflective lens treatments that are quite effective put out by major lens companies.

Overall, more research is definitely needed, but there may be a moment in the future that putting on “screen time “ glasses will be as common as sunscreen.

References

www.aoa.org

Article on Light and Eye Damage by Gregory W. Good, O.D., Ph.D.

 

The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

Office Tour

Video Education Library

Vision Care News

Spring Into Some New Frames This March

Spring is a beautiful time for change and growth. With our wide variety of frames, and the help of...


Love Your Skin this Season

It’s the season of love, and you are no exception! Here at Ankeny Family Vision Center we think...


New Year New Look

Our team is wishing you a very Happy New Year. January 2019 marks the start of a new year, which...


Are You Holiday Ready

It's the most wonderful time of the year... lights, decorations, and lots of festivities! Are you...


National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month. Did you know that blurry vision is one of the very first...


5 Contact Lens Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

Here at Ankeny Family Vision Center, we are vision doctors who care about your overall eye health....


Digital Eye Strain

The average American spends nearly half a day staring at a computer screen! According to the...


What They See Matters

Here at Ankeny Family Vision Center we love to take care of our youth! What our children see...