Digital Eye Strain

I feel that we need to have a new rule: “when we go to a restaurant, our phones are turned off and put away” (unless there is some type of emergency going on in our life).

Have you ever seen people sitting at a table for a meal together, but everyone is looking at their phones and no one is talking to each other? While smart phones are incredibly convenient, these tiny screen may not be doing us any favors in regard to promoting face to face social interaction. Many of us may be a little too reliant on our laptops and tablets as well.

These screens emit BLUE (blue light user exposure) which may be contributing to eye and vision problems. It can also disrupt normal circadian rhythms which affects sleep. We live in a digital age where our eyes are constantly being bombarded with blue light exposure. Think of the endless hours spent staring at digital screens as you read, text, and communicate on your computer, smart phone, or tablet, in addition to hours at work in front of a computer. The symptoms associated present as eye fatigue, which is characterized by symptoms such as blurred vision, dry eye, and headaches. One consumer research study in 2018 found that more than 90% of people surveyed indicated that they experienced one or more symptoms from the use of digital devices. This issue also extends to children as well. Parents that were surveyed indicated that seven out of ten children between the ages of six and twelve, experienced the same type of symptoms as adults. And while these symptoms are not a condition in themselves, they are an indication that the eyes are impacted and the fact is we have no idea how that is going to manifest for these children as they grow.

Taking breaks from our devices may be the best thing for all of us.