Wellness

How overuse of digital devices posing risk to eyes

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Have you ever finished a long day at work or a binge session on YouTube only to find your vision isn’t as sharp? You may get a bit of a headache, have slight difficulty focusing, or your eyes are just a little itchy and you want to rub them. These are some of the potential issues that can be caused by screens.

But it’s not just your computer screen that’s troubling you. People come home from a long day of work, from looking at their laptops, to long evenings looking at their phone screens. Some often rely on their car GPS to explore unknown land, while others find themselves setting new targets on their Fitbits or iWatch. Because these displays are such an integral part of our lives, it’s a good idea to know how to use them correctly.

You have probably heard of blue light in one sense of the word and that it can be disruptive. But there are actually two sides to the coin here. Blue light can suppress the production of melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone that originates from a more primitive origin.

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Compared to red light, blue light has a short wavelength and high energy. And this type of light scatters more easily. And therefore it requires more effort from your eyes to focus this kind of light. And when this aggravates, it is known as the ‘Digital Eye Strain’. Here’s a deep dive into the eye problems caused by these devices.

Potential Damage Caused by Digital Devices:

Computer Vision Syndrome

If you work on a computer and at the end of the day you find yourself scooting in or scrunching your eyes, then you experience computer vision syndrome. There’s a host of problems associated with computer vision syndrome that people have no idea about.

Did you know that whenever you work on a computer for 6-7 hours in a day, you may end up with sore or tight back, mid-back, or shoulders? This has a direct connection with your eyesight. As the day wears on and you stress your eyes, then the stress has an impact on your entire body.

Possible Cataracts

There may not be enough studies to prove the connection between cataracts and blue light. But doctors have patients as early as in their mid-30s coming in with problems of cataracts, which would otherwise occur when you are in your mid-70s. But there’s no solid proof that suggests the connection between blue light and cataracts.

Retina Damage

Most people carry their phones to bed with them. Most people have replaced the traditional clocks with digital alarm clocks. And that’s only an excuse to check your phone a few times before you give siesta a visit. But this habit is only lessening the gap between good vision and damage to the eyes.

The American Macular Degeneration Foundation suggests that the direct exposure to blue light emitted by digital devices is causing substantial damage to your eyes. This damage usually results in macular degeneration, making your central vision take the hit.

Blurry Vision

Blurry and clouded vision is one of the most common eyesight challenges. And our digital-dominant lives are major cause for troubled vision. Blurry vision usually does not pose too much of a problem and can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines too are a common concern for eyes that are overexposed to digital devices. When you stare for too long into a computer screen, the eyestrain often results in tension headaches. A major reason for this is the colour of the text and its contrast against the bright screen. It makes your eyes work twice as hard to focus, resulting in muscle spasms at the temples.

 Technology has made our lives hassle-free and more efficient. But it all comes at a cost. We of course don’t expect you to permanently give up smart phones and all those fancy gadgets. But it’s a good idea to rethink the amount of time you spend on these devices. It’s important to give your eyes a break to get ample amount of rest and a chance for you to keep yourself engaged in other activities. Make sure you also pay a visit to your eye doctor so that you know exactly what’s troubling your vision.

(Disclaimer: Writer is Aaron Barriga, Digital Marketing Manager, InSight Vision Center. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)

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