A guest post from Vance Hobbes – Vance Hobbes is a freelance writer and former medical researcher. He writes about many facets of the medical field and works with CompHealth. When he’s not writing the day away, he spends his free time tending to his prizewinning garden and attending any Knicks game he can find.
Phone. Computer. Tablet. TV. Our eyes are working overtime these days with all the electronic equipment that invades our lives. You may think it’s harmless, but can all that screen-time really harm your vision?
Experts say if you are not careful, it can cause problems to your eyesight. The Vision Council conducted a survey in 2012, which concluded that more than a third of U.S. adults reported spending as much as six hours a day using some type of electronic device (computers, tablets, phones, etc.). Fourteen percent reported as much as twelve hours per day.
What worries eye care providers is a problem called Digital Eye Strain. It is caused from over-exposure to digital devices and can cause poor eye health in the future. Some of the symptoms for Eye Strain are blurred vision, dry eyes, eye redness, irritation in the eyes, fatigue, neck pain, and headaches. If you are experiencing these problems frequently, it may be time to reconsider the amount of time you spend in front of that computer screen.
The same study found that thirty-four percent American adults are in professions that require use of these devices. This proliferation of screen-exposure has made DES the most common computer-related injury; exceeding cases of carpal tunnel and tendonitis.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to quit your job to get some relief. Here are a few quick and easy steps to help you relieve the strain.
• Visit your Optometrist at least once a year, and let the doctor know how often you are using a computer. You may need glasses to keep your eyes from over-working.
• If possible reduce the amount of light in your work space. It should be half the normal brightness of a typical office.
• Adjust the brightness. It should be relatively the same as your surrounding work area. Your computer screen should not look like a light source.
• Most importantly, exercise your eyes. Remember the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, focus on an object about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing this will relax the focusing muscle in the eye.
One important thing to consider is educating children about the dangers of excessive digital device use. Some parents are conflicted on the over-use of devices. According to a 2012 Euro RSCG Worldwide survey, 76 percent of U.S. fathers said that children without internet access are at a disadvantage. However, the same percentage is concerned that too much use can hinder reading and writing development.
It doesn’t look like technological advances are slowing down any time soon. So remember to follow these easy steps to prevent your eyes from feeling fatigued.