Screens are our life. If you are not holed up in the cold jungles of Siberia, then they must be yours, too. The times are so insane that if someone doesn’t use their phone for at least two hours, they are termed as ‘digital freaks’ - a dwindling species at best! A growing number of us are glued to multiple screens at a time - all this screen-staring is taking a toll on our eyes.
A recent study from the Vision Council suggests that 7 out of 10 millennials are getting the digital eye strain; the fatigue and dryness in the eyes after staring at the screen for long hours. While this term may not be your doctor’s precise diagnosis - the condition is real. For starters, it can give you a blurry vision, dry eyes, severe neck and shoulder pain, and ultimately, death. Just kidding about the last one. But the long-term side-effects of too much screen time are not known.
It shouldn’t come as a shocker, you obviously didn’t think all that tweeting and instagramming was a blessing for your eyes.
Look Away: Your Smartphone Could Give You a Digital Eye
I’m sure, most of us didn’t need a study to tell us this one. I spend my entire work day squinting at the Mac, only to squint some more at my phone on the way back home. Screens are our extensions.
Unlike reading from a printed page, it’s harder for your eyes to focus on a digital screen because the letters aren’t as sharp, there’s less contrast between the backlit letters and background, and you’re up against glare and reflections.
The problem is more with kids.
Dr Suresh Naidu, Eye Specialist
As children acquire cellphones at younger ages and are always hooked on them, the symptoms of digital strain are coming at ages younger than ever before.
Staring at the glowing digital display (PC, laptop, tab or smartphones) for a long time is unnatural for your eyes. And small prints and blurry images strain your eye muscle more. In a minute, you blink around 18 times and that drops to 6-7 times when you are hooked on to your gadget.
Related Read: 7 Ways Your Smartphone is Ruining Your Health
Steps To Take
If you’re living anywhere on this planet, you really cannot do without your gadgets. We also know that shutting down your MacBook and becoming a Luddite is not what anyone should be doing. So here’s a realistic set of goals which you can make to keep your pretty eyes fluttering:
Download an app to know how many times you touch your phone: Sounds silly to use your phone to know how much you use your phone - but, this is important. Checky, is a super simple app that keeps a tab of how many times you unlock your phone in a day.
Sit at least a foot away from the screen.
Kill the notifications. Staying informed is great but being forcibly informed is extremely distracting.
Take short breaks. 5-10 minutes after every hour of screen time won’t hurt your bosses.
Adjust the brightness levels of your gadget to match the lighting in the room.
If you wear glasses then opt for computer lenses, designed to cut down the glare.
Put an anti-glare screen for your PCs and laptops.
Now that you’re done reading this story, look away and rest your eyes. And for the love of God, go get fresh air, look outside because unlike your smartphones, your eyes ain’t disposable.