5 Tips to Prevent Vision Problems from Digital Devices

June 14, 2022 |read icon 5 min read

Employees today work from many locations: home, office or a combination of both. Most workers use digital devices to complete projects. They spend many work hours on computers, e-readers or smartphones. But this increased use of screen time can damage workers’ eyes. Review five tips to prevent vision problems from digital devices.

Tip 1: Record time spent on screens

Most adults ages 18 and older spend at least 13 hours each day using digital devices. A British study found that people will spend 34 years during their lifetime looking at screens. Extended screen time can damage people’s eyes and cause vision problems. It’s easy to lose track of how much time you spend on your computer or smartphone. So keep track of the number of hours you use your devices. That way, you’ll be aware of the demand you’re placing on your eyes.

Tip 2: Rest and blink your eyes

Researchers found that over 33% of people using digital devices rarely take time to rest their eyes. Over 10% say they never take a break, even when working from home. Viewing screens hour after hour each day puts a demand on your vision system. The eye muscles get overworked and don’t get a chance to relax and recover. And when staring at the screen, people forget to blink. But you need to blink to refresh your eyes’ natural moisture.

Eye doctors recommend these tips when using digital devices: Every 20 minutes, look up from the screen about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. It’s a good way to relax your eyes, giving them time to blink and refresh. Also, take a walk around the office or outside and look at things far away. Vision experts say this activity can help reduce the risk of developing nearsighted vision, a problem that affects about 41% of Americans.

Tip 3: Reduce exposure to blue light

Eye strain is a common complaint from people who work on digital devices for many hours each day. Common symptoms include headaches, blurry vision and dry eyes. A contributing factor to eye strain could be blue light from digital screens. In the light spectrum, blue is more high energy and close to ultraviolet light. And it’s known to damage vision. Reducing exposure to blue light may help lessen vision problems. So if you use screens throughout the day, ask your eye doctor about the value of computer glasses that block blue light.

Scientists also believe blue light can affect people’s natural sleep cycles. At home, using digital devices until bedtime can overstimulate brain cells. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Eye doctors recommend no screen time at least two hours before bed. It will help your brain relax so that you can get some sleep.

Tip 4: Use the right monitor

Did you know the light from your computer monitor is hard on your eyes, too? This light is different from sunlight or the lights in your office or home. Most computer monitors today have LED backlighting. It works to improve the screen’s clarity, contrast and graphics. But LED lights produce blue light waves at a higher intensity than other lights in the spectrum. The LED backlighting flickers to adjust the brightness of the screen. The flicker rate is so fast, the human eye usually cannot detect it. But scientists believe these flickers can cause your pupils to change rapidly from large to small. These continuous changes can cause eye strain and fatigue.

Before purchasing a new computer monitor for your home or office, get tips from an expert. Research options and talk with several professionals to find a design that meets your digital needs. Also, make sure the monitor is the right size. The top of the screen should be in line with your eyes to reduce eye strain, about 18 to 30 inches from your face. Adjust the monitor’s contrast to a higher setting using warm color tones. Increase text size, too, and make sure the lights in the room don’t cause glare on the screen.

Vision experts also recommend having the light in your workspace equal to the light produced by your digital device. Working in a dark room with a bright screen can increase eye strain.

Tip 5: Schedule regular vision exams

Maintain healthy vision by scheduling routine eye exams. During the appointment, the eye doctor will check your ability to see letters and numbers in different sizes. And they’ll look deep into your eyes to spot any changes in the blood vessels and tissue. In addition to noticing symptoms of eye diseases, the eye doctor can detect changes related to medical conditions, like diabetes. Catching symptoms early helps you address any issues and reduce the need for costly medical care.

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