These days, we’re pretty much always looking at a screen. According to the most recent Nielsen report, as of 2018 American adults spend over eight and a half hours per day viewing some sort of digital media. Many of us stare at computers all day for work, and/or stare at our TV or computer to relax when we get home. We’re often glancing at our phones. You’re even looking at a screen right now.
And all this screen time has some eye-boggling effects, known as Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain. Symptoms include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, light sensitivity, or even pain in the neck and shoulders.
So what causes this? Well, one factor is a lack of blinking. When we stare at a screen, not only do we blink less often than normal, but when we do blink we don’t always close our eyes completely. Another issue is that the bright blue light coming from our screens can cause eyestrain due to blue light-sensitive molecules in the retina.
Luckily, there are a few easy ways to combat the effects of eye strain:
If your device doesn’t come with a pre-installed solution, you can download a program that will do the same thing, such as f.lux.
And on the off chance you don’t have the permissions to install such programs on your computer, you can always buy a pair of blue light blocking glasses. You can get an inexpensive pair on Amazon, or more fashionable ones from companies like Felix Gray or from your eye doctor.