Today more than ever we find ourselves staring at an assortment of artificial light sources. While research has not yet proven any long-term effects of technology on vision, there are a multitude of reasons you should practice safety when looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
Collectively known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, these symptoms can leave you feeling like you are seeing double or with a debilitating headache that prevents you from doing anything at all. There is hope, however: by following a few basic safety tips you can virtually eliminate the problems so many people struggle with today.
The primary problem associated with looking at a computer screen is the fact that our eyes are not designed to stare at something so close for an extended period of time. It is hard to imagine, but computers have only existed for the last half-century or so which means throughout our evolution, human eyes have not evolved to this significant change.
Tips for Relief
The easiest home remedy for many of these is something that almost everyone admits to not doing and that is taking a break every now and then. Staring at a computer for extended periods of time is not only mentally exhausting, but also very taxing for eye muscles. To lessen the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome, look away from the computer screen for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes and scan the room with the eyes. This allows the eyes to relax and refocus. Blinking is another simple task that is often overlooked. Blinking moistens the eyes and reduces severe eye strain that comes with constant staring at the computer screen.
While these simple problems may be cured by some simple modifications to your work habits, there are times when users may need to go a step further and consult their doctor about the underlying cause. For many computer users who experience headaches, special glasses or contacts for computer use are often the best solution. This is why it is so critical for everyone to have his or her eyes examined every 2 years.
Another possible concern with the amount of time that we are looking at LED screens is the effect it has on our sleep. New research is being conducted that indicates using your tablet before bedtime can have dramatic effects on your body. According to a research study conducted at Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY evidence suggests that using electronics before bedtime will actually trick your body into not producing melatonin. This means that once you finally decide to power off your electronics you are going to be counting more sheep than you would have otherwise. So what is the solution you might be wondering? Well perhaps leaving the tablet on the nightstand a little earlier each night will help to ensure you get your full eight.
While technology’s effects on vision are still a relatively new issue, the harmful effects can be drastically reduced as long as you take an active role in the preventative measures. Taking breaks and having regular eye exams are among the most important of these. Just like the rest of your health, your vision needs to receive regular attention to ensure you are able to use it to its maximum potential. Taking an active role in your vision can lead to increased productivity, a better night’s sleep, and a better overall well-being. Take care of your vision around those electronic devices and it will take care of you.