March is Save Your Vision Month! We want to focus on digital eye strain and blue light.
According to American Optometric Association (AOA), “The average American spends more than seven hours daily staring at a digital device, while Millennials spend up to nine. Save Your Vision Month will address overexposure to blue light, high-energy visible light that can lead to eye strain and sleep problems, among other concerns.” These numbers seem high, but once you realize how much you stare at a digital screen, it is cause for concern. Desk workers stare at their computer for 7 or more hours a day, add in the time you are scrolling on your cell phone, plus the TV you relax to after dinner and you easily have 7-9 hours a day or more!
The AOA suggests these 5 tips for alleviating digital eye strain:
- Power down before turning in. As hard as it may be, turn devices off at least one hour before bedtime as part of your evening routine. High-energy visible light can potentially upset normal circadian rhythms that lead to a good night’s sleep by suppressing melatonin levels at the wrong time of day.
- Mind the 20-20-20 rule. As a general rule of thumb, when working with digital devices for a prolonged period of time, it’s appropriate to take a 20-20-20 break. In other words, take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus on something 20 feet away. These regular breaks can help alleviate digital eye strain.
- Keep your distance. In addition to following the 20-20-20 rule, it’s also appropriate to maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device. Find a comfortable distance from your screen where text is easily readable, while your back, shoulders and head can maintain an upright posture. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from eyes to screen.
- Make adjustments. Found a comfortable position? Next, consider adjusting screen height or text size so you don’t find yourself hunching forward. Keep computer screens about 4 to 5 inches below eye level from the screen’s center. The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
- Keep those eyes healthy. Schedule regular comprehensive eye examinations with your doctor of optometry to detect and address vision problems.
When you schedule your annual eye exam at Crown Vision Center, ask your Doctor about Smart Blue Filter. It reduces eye fatigue to provide a strain-free visual experience while providing the most complete protection from harmful blue light. This filter also helps decrease your symptoms of dry, sticky eyes while it increases visual performance in situations of low contrast.