It might seem impossible to break away from our digital devices. The average adult spends 11 hours each day in front of a screen. The latest research has proven that screen time can damage our eyes and overall health.
At South Texas Eye Institute, we offer LASIK in San Antonio, among other vision correction treatments, to improve your vision. In this infographic, “Screens Are Damaging Our Eyes, Our Brains and Our Overall Health,” we examine the latest research and offer solutions to address this growing concern.
How Screens Damage Our Eyes
Screens emit blue light, or high energy visible (HEV) light. The short wavelengths in blue light emit higher levels of energy compared to warm light. Overexposure to blue light can lead to long-term vision problems, such as macular degeneration or cataracts, which may require cataract surgery. Even more, since blue light mimics daylight, it can actually disrupt sleep patterns.
To make matters worse, 93% of respondents in a recent study reported using their phone while watching TV – and while crossing the road. But the damage goes beyond our eyes.
A 2011 study found that an additional 2 hours of screen time every day can increase risk of death by 52%. This is due to the impact of digital screens on our cardiovascular health and our weight. In fact, screen use is actually impacting our brain structure – altering grey and white matter, which the brain uses for processing and communicating across lobes.
With 65% of American adults reporting symptoms of eye strain, it’s important to find ways to reduce the impact of digital media on our health. Symptoms of digital eye strain include blurred vision, dry eyes, neck pain, back pain and headaches.
How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain
To reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain, it’s recommended to reduce glare on your screen and turn down the brightness on your digital devices. You can also install apps or adjust settings on your phone to filter out blue light once the sun sets.
Always sit an arm’s distance from your computer screen, and avoid screens one hour before bed. For those who work at a computer all day, it’s recommended to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Check out the below infographic to learn more about the impact of screens on our health.
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