In the era of digital dominance, our eyes are constantly fixed on screens – from smartphones and tablets to computers and gaming devices.
However, there is a downside: prolonged screen time can easily lead to eye strain. Optometrist Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad explains that lifestyle factors, rather than genetics, are most likely to blame for the uptick in myopia in recent years.
The eyes can fail to stop adjusting to the digital and visual environment, continuing to grow in length and causing the ciliary muscles to thicken.
Unless we proactively protect our eye health, half of the world’s population could have myopia by 2050.
This condition may also become a leading cause of permanent blindness globally.
Thankfully, there are easy actionable tips that you can start today in order to safeguard your vision in the digital age.
Maximize Integrated Features For Eye Health
Many modern devices actually come with built-in features to prioritize eye health. For example, Apple introduced the Screen Distance feature with the release of iOS 17.
This innovative tool warns users when their iPhone or iPad is held too close to their face, helping reduce eyestrain.
Similarly, Samsung’s Eye Comfort Shield limits exposure to blue light and employs warmer colors, promoting a more comfortable viewing experience.
This function is replicated in downloadable apps like Flux and Twilight that adjust the color temperature of your screens, which can help minimize potential harm to your eyes during device use.
Invest In Eye Health Accessories
Today’s market includes various accessories designed to mitigate the impact of digital screens.
These can be especially useful when using devices without built-in features or apps for eye health.
Similar to Samsung’s Eye Comfort Shield, blue light lenses like Oakley Blue Ready function by filtering blue-violet light between 400 and 455nm.
These can be attached to glasses with your prescription and design of choice for a comfortable accessory that’s quickly removable post-screen time.
Afterwards, you can swap your glasses for a heated eye mask to relieve any aches or strain.
These compresses, like the Bruder dry eye mask, aid in releasing more oil from your eyelid glands, preventing tear evaporation and stabilizing your tear film for a refreshing screen experience every day.
Invest In Protective Devices
By choosing devices with enhanced protection, you actively reduce the potential harm caused by extended screen exposure.
Check the Radiance Protection Factor (RPF®) before making any purchase from renowned manufacturers, such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, and ZAGG.
These brands are in active collaboration with Eyesafe DTX, a patented hardware technology that enables display manufacturers to reduce blue light toxicity while improving display performance.
This innovation can be found in BenQ’s 2023 monitor with an RPF of 70, the highest blue light protection available in the marketplace today.
Practice Healthy Screen Habits
Beyond investing in technology, developing healthy screen habits is crucial for long-term eye health.
Begin by consciously reducing screen time with screen-free zones and screen-free times, especially for young children whose brains are still building language and literacy skills.
You can use the online Create a Media Plan tool of the American Academy of Pediatrics to help.
Otherwise, embrace the 20-20-20 rule – for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away.
Don’t forget to also spend more time outdoors to provide your eyes with a break from the constant glare of screens.
Download Eye Health Apps
To properly and frequently practice healthy screen habits, consider downloading dedicated apps for eye health.
Apps like GlassesOff walk you through various eye exercises to assess contrast sensitivity or visual response times. This can help prevent eye strain or blurred vision.
Meanwhile, mobile games like Blink Land, which was launched by the American Optometric Association in June 2023, can teach players about eye health and its relation to screen time through minigames, facts, and trivia.
This can be especially helpful to gamers who are aware of the eye health implications of long-term screen time usage but are still part of the 54% who do not visit a healthcare professional for a comprehensive eye exam every year.
Blink Land helps share tangible actions players can take to protect their eyes while on screens, such as using the 20-20-20 rule, blinking frequently, and setting up screens properly.
By adopting these measures, you can significantly reduce the potential risks associated with prolonged screen exposure and ensure that your eyes remain healthy and vibrant in our technology-driven world.
For more on tech in the industry, check out our other articles on How-To Apps.