Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eye Strain

As more Americans spend more time staring at digital devices, digital eye strain is becoming more prevalent because of their increased amounts of staring. Nearly one third of American adults spend nine or more hours staring at either a computer, tablet, cell phone, or other electronic device. As such, their eyes are becoming increasingly damaged by the added light strain. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Many external factors contribute to eye strain as well, such as lowered blinking rates when staring at an electronic screen. Blue light — a portion of the light spectrum emitted from electronic screens — has also been identified in recent research as leading to increased damage to retinal cells. This damage can lead to age-related macular degeration (AMD) and cataracts. Americans most at risk are ones who hold computer-related jobs or are members of the Millennial generation. Along with spending less time on digital devices, tips for reducing digital eye strain include: wearing computer eyewear to reduce refection; blinking more often; and increasing distance between the viewer and their computer workstation. Even taking a break from looking at the screen every 20 minutes can improve eye health greatly.

Key Points:

  • 1When staring at a screen we blink less, causing dry, itchy or burning eyes.
  • 2Constant exposure to the “Blue light” portion of the light spectrum can cause macular degeneration.
  • 3Unlike other eye problems, younger “millennials” are more likely to experience digital eye strain than the old.

Digital devices have become a part of daily life for most people. As much as 95% of Americans spend two or more hours a day using digital devices and 30%–nearly one third–of American adults spend nine or more hours using them.

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