Hey friend, how’s it going over there? Just checking in on all our valued Center For Sight patients. It is our collective hope that you and your family are healthy and safe during these uncertain days, where we are all being asked to social distance and stay home if at all possible. We want to remind you that we are here for you and continue to see patients at all our Center For Sight locations for emergent eye care needs.
How’s Your Quarantine Going?
If you and your loved ones are watching a little more television than usual and maybe using electronic devices just a little more frequently, you’re not alone. Many Americans have suddenly found themselves spending more time at home, relying on televisions, video games, computers and phones to help pass the hours. We’re also using these same devices for remote work and even online school.
All that can add up to significant screen time. No judgment. We’re all just trying to navigate this “new normal”. But it does beg the question, is all this increased screen time bad for our eye health?
Effects of Too Much Screen Time
The truth is, spending too many hours staring at a screen can cause eye strain. You tend to blink less while staring at the blue light from a screen, and the movement of the screen makes your eyes work harder to focus. Also, most people typically don’t position the screen at an ideal distance or angle, which can cause added strain. All these issues add up and can lead to lasting effects on your vision, especially in children.
Here are just a few of the potential effects of increased screen time:
This one makes sense. Your eyes can get tired from prolonged, intense use, causing double vision, headaches and difficulty concentrating.
Dry and Irritated Eyes
We tend to blink less when staring at a screen and our eyes can become dry and irritated. This can lead to discomfort, blurry vision and other irritations.
Screen time can cause kids to spend less time outdoors, which can have a long-term impact on eye health. In children, natural daylight is important to developing eyes. Studies have shown children who spend more time indoors are more likely to develop nearsightedness.
Here’s the blue light connection. Digital devices release blue light, which can reach the inner lining of the back of your eye (retina). Studies show that blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. This can lead to early age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of eyesight. According to the American Optometric Association, children are more likely than adults to experience a negative impact when exposed to this high-energy light.
Ways to Stay 20/Happy at Home
At Center For Sight, your and your family’s health and safety are important to us. We’d like to share some tips for taking care of your eyes during the quarantine while also taking care of your families, your jobs, your children’s education, your health and your sanity! To help prevent digital eye strain:
Set a Good Example with Your Own Device Use
Do as I say and not as I do never did work well. Parents, model balance and let your children see you reading a book, taking a walk or playing with a pet. Invite your child to help you in the kitchen or the garden.
Create Screen-Free Zones at Home
Maybe everyone places their cell phone in a basket before sitting down at the dinner table. Get creative and allocate areas of the home that are strictly “unplugged zones”.
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
And teach it to your kids! For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Las Vegas, We’re Here for You
Center For Sight remains open and available for your eye emergencies during this time. Please reach out with any eye concerns. Stay safe, be well and we hope to see you again soon!