How much time do you spend each day staring at your phone, tablet, or computer screen? Chances are you look into digital screens for longer than you sleep every day. This is understandable considering that electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops have become an indispensable part of our lives.
In fact, according to the Nielsen Company, the average American adult spends nearly 11 hours staring at some type of electronic screen. Irrespective of whether you’re a student, homemaker, or entrepreneur, you can’t completely block electronic gadgets out of your lives.
From organizing a virtual meetup with your friends to designing a stunning investor pitch – you need smartphones and laptops for routine tasks. Nevertheless, prolonged use of digital devices can cause a range of physical and mental disorders, as well as emotional problems.
The Perils of Blue Light
All electronic devices emit short wavelength, high energy blue light rays. In general, blue light improves alertness, boosts memory, and enhances cognitive abilities. However, prolonged blue light exposure can cause sleep disorders, mood swings, and irreversible damage to your eyes.
While the sun emits more blue light than electronic gadgets, it poses less threat. This is because blue light from a digital screen enters your eyes from a closer distance and therefore, has more potential to cause damage. Also, children are at a greater risk because their eyes are better at absorbing blue light.
Yes. Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome is a real thing. Blue light entering your eyes from a phone or computer screen can cause a wide array of problems, such as:
- Eye fatigue
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
Worse still, prolonged direct exposure to blue light can cause permanent damage to the macula and the cells of the retina.
So, what can you do to avoid the harmful effects of blue light from electronic devices? In this blog, we’ve outlined a few effective tips to safeguard your eyes against digital blue light. Let’s take a look.
Protecting Your Eyes from Electronic Devices
First things first – the most effective way of preventing eye damage from digital blue light is to cut down on your electronic device usage. While you can’t do away with your phone or laptop, there are ways to minimize screen time. From limiting social media usage to creating dedicated screen-free zones at home, there’s a lot you can do.
Apart from reducing screen time, here are a few more tips to protect your eyes from blue light damage:
1. Create a Comfortable Workstation
If your work requires you to sit in front of a computer for long hours, make sure you sit at least 20 to 30 inches away from the screen. It’s a good idea to get a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to help you seamlessly continue your work while maintaining a suitable distance from the screen.
2. Hold Your Phone at An Angle
Blue light rays emitted from electronic gadgets travel in a straight direction. A simple way of minimizing the amount of blue light that enters your eye is to hold your phone or tablet at a 20 to 30-degree angle. This can go a long way to reduce strain on your eyes and protect them from serious damage.
3. Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Whether you’re a software developer or a graphic designer, you likely spend hours staring into a computer screen. Make sure you get a pair of high-quality protective blue light glasses to reduce strain on your eyes.
These yellow-tinted glasses are specially designed to filter most of the blue light rays coming from digital devices. They’re a must for working professionals who sit in front of a computer for long durations as part of their jobs. If your eyes are particularly sensitive, you should consider getting blue light glasses with anti-reflective lenses.
4. Take Frequent Breaks
It goes without saying that even if your job demands that you use a computer for long hours, you avoid doing your work at a stretch. Instead, try taking frequent breaks to relax your eyes and minimize blue light exposure.
It’s a good idea to follow the 20-20-20 rule while you’re at work. Simply put, it states that after every 20 minutes of working on the computer, take a 20-second break and stare at an object that’s situated 20 feet away. Apart from reducing eye strain, it can be particularly useful in relieving a terrible headache.
5. Use Screen Filters
If you have a kid at home who uses your phone to browse the internet or play games, it’s crucial to protect their eyes from damage as well. Unlike adults, kids may not be comfortable wearing blue light blocking glasses or practicing the 20-20-20 rule.
A simple and effective alternative is to use a screen filter on all your electronic devices. Screen filters are fairly inexpensive and are available in various sizes to fit your phone/tablet/laptop. Also, you could install a blue light blocking plugin on your device to automatically adjust the screen light whenever you start using it.
Do you use any other hacks to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.