Chances are you’ve been staring at a screen for several hours already today if you’re reading this. Stop and take a break to blink and let your eyes rest. We can wait.

Thanks to emerging technology like smart phones and computers, people are spending multiple hours a day staring at a screen. It’s not entirely bad- obviously those smart phones and computers keep us all connected to the people around us. Unfortunately it’s not always great for our eyes.

Many people are experiencing problems from blue light exposure. High frequency light exposure can cause problems like macular degeneration, cataracts, and even pterygium. Blue light exposure can also disrupt your sleep, and screens in general can flicker and cause digital eye strain.

Protecting your eyes from blue light and other harmful effects of too much screen time is crucial for your eye health. If you can change the settings on your monitor to decrease blue light, do it. Use glare screens and coatings, and if you wear glasses consider getting UV and anti-glare coatings on your lenses. There are even lens coatings these days that block out blue light specifically!

When you are using screens a lot, be sure to employ the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away for 20 seconds to a distance of 20 feet. This will give your eyes some time to rest. Blink frequently to prevent your eyes from drying out, and place a post-it note on your screen if you need a reminder. Finally, make sure the light output of your screen matches the lighting in your environment- differences can cause unnecessary strain.

Learn more about the dangers of blue light and what you can do to protect your eyes from this infographic from Frames Direct. You might be surprised just how prevalent blue light can be!

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