The Dark Side of the Bright Screen

Think about how many hours a day you use a digital device. If you counted more than six hours, you’re on the right track. As a part of National Save Your Vision Month, ensuring the safety of your ocular health is vital to more than just preventing vision loss.

Studies show that the average American spends about seven hours per day on a digital device as advances in technology have digitalized daily tasks such as employment, education, socializing, and entertainment. These tasks are increasingly becoming more commonly operated on one or two digital screens, sometimes simultaneously, which can cause digital eye strain.

The American Optometric Association states that “digital screens emit a specific type of blue and violet light. Overexposure to this high-energy, short-wavelength light can negatively impact eye health and cause digital eye strain.” Overexposure to blue and violet light can cause an array of ocular health issues. Maintaining a healthy body and eyes by regularly visiting your optometrist, can decrease your risk of the symptoms caused by digital eye strain.

“We are definitely spending more time in front of screens, and when we look at computer screens and other digital devices which emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual ‘noise’ reduces contrast and can contribute to eye strain,” said Dr. Jon Russell, OD, CSH low vision optometrist. “Research has shown lenses that block blue light increase contrast significantly. Therefore, glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may increase comfort when viewing digital devices for extended periods of time.”



Even if you have 20/20 vision, consider protecting yourself from digital eye strain and apply the 20-20-20 rule to your daily routine.

After 20 minutes of exposure, take a 20-second break from your screen to view something 20 feet away.


Other tips to minimize digital eye strain symptoms include: minimizing glare, adjusting your computer screen brightness to approximately the same brightness surrounding your workspace, frequent blinking, upgrading your computer screen with a flat-panel liquid crystal display(LCD), and wearing computer eyewear such as glasses with yellow tinted lenses.

If you are experiencing digital eye strain symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Russell for a personalized solution by clicking here.


Written by Tayler Brantley March 19, 2018



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