The new era is a digital world and the pandemic has added to the screen usage for all age groups, both for personal and professional reasons. Digital gadgets is a part of everyone “s daily life and we need to understand how to smartly use them without any adverse effect on eyes . Also, there are a lot of myths about how screen is very bad for eyes, so we will be decoding them in this article .

How does screen affect eyes ?

When you gaze at a screen for hours at stretch ,the effect on eyes are divided in short term and long term . The short term effect is digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome where u feel Eye strain, burning sensation, transient blurring , redness , watering of eyes , headaches etc . They are related to accommodative strain by natural lens or due to dry eye. These symptoms are no different from the symptoms you may have when reading, writing or doing “close work” like sewing for long stretches of time.
The long term affects like that of blue rays from screen is not scientifically proven in humans .

Does the type of device we use matter ?

Handheld devices differ from computers and TV in viewing position and distance, screen size and luminance, and patterns of use. Accommodation is altered more with handheld device like mobile phones . Reduced blink rate and amplitude are reported more with mobile and computer use. So overall a TV or laptop screen would be better then mobile screen.

What should be done to avoid eye strain / dry eye ?

1.The golden rule is to take regular breaks using the "20-20-20" rule: Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds or close eyes for 20secs .
2.You can also use preservative free lubricating eye drops to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.

Does blue block filter on glasses help in computer work ?

No, they don’t ! Although people often associate blue light with computers and phones, the largest source of blue light is sunlight. Other sources include fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED light. Blue light exposure from screens is much less than the amount of exposure from the sun. So there is actually no proven scientific evidence to use blue block or filter computer glasses .

Blue light does affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. Too much blue light exposure late at night from your digital device can make it harder for you to sleep. Hence stop your screen time an hour or two before you go to bed.

What is the treatment for Digital Eye Syndrome or Computer Vision Syndrome ?

A range of management approaches exist for DES including correction of refractive error (spectacles ),treatment of dry eye, regular screen breaks and consideration of accommodative muscle eye problems. Treatment requires a multidirectional approach combining ocular therapy with adjustment of the workstation. Proper lighting, anti-glare filters, ergonomic positioning of computer monitor,regular work breaks and Lubricating eye drops may help improve visual comfort.

More Eye care Tips for Screen users:

  1. Blink - Humans normally blink about 15 times in one minute. However, studies show that we only blink about 5 to 7 times in a minute while using computers and other digital screen devices. Blinking is the eye’s way of getting the moisture it needs on its surface. Make a conscious effort to blink as often as possible. This keeps the surface of your eyes from drying out. You might even want to put a sticky note on your computer screen or mobile alarms reminding you to blink often !
  2. If your screen glows brighter than your surroundings, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your screen brightness to match the level of light around you. Also, try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
    1. Adjust Your Position at the Computer.
    2. When using a computer, you should be sitting about 25 inches (right about at arm's length) from the screen. Also, position the screen so your eye gazes slightly downward, not straight ahead or up. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
    3. If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.

Many eye symptoms caused by computer use are only temporary and if you follow above tips you can enjoy comfortable healthy vision .
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