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Is Too Much Tech Time Causing Digital Eye Strain?

As digital devices creep into every aspect of daily life, it’s common for most people to focus on some form of a screen from the time they wake in the morning until falling asleep at night. Your alarm, email, news, work, social life and even family interactions can occur on laptops, phones, tablets or TV screens all day, putting you at risk of digital eye strain. Even people with less immediate ties to digital devices may still be at risk. In fact, according to a recent report from The Vision Council, 61 percent of adults experience some type of digital eye strain due to the prolonged use of electronic devices.

The study found that 1 in 4 kids spend more than 3 hours a day on digital devices, 2 in 5 Millennials, 1 in 3 GenXers, and 1 in 4 Boomers spend at least 9 hours on digital devices each day. Given these statistics, it’s even more surprising to find that ⅓ of adults who experience digital eye strain don’t do anything to alleviate their symptoms.

Speaking of symptoms – what exactly is digital eye strain? Typically, digital eye strain manifests itself as temporary physical discomfort that can be felt after several hours in front of a digital screen. Other symptoms of digital eye strain can include red, irritated or dry eyes, blurred vision and eye fatigue, as well as back and neck pain and headaches.

Digital eye strain can be made worse from the size of text used on devices, blue light emitted from digital device screens, total time spent staring at a screen and the setup of your work station.

Your body uses blue light naturally in basic functions of the brain, including alertness, memory and emotion. Natural blue light from the sun also regulates your biological clock, as it determines day vs. night; however, blue light emitted from devices can be harmful. In fact, research shows that a specific band of blue light, near ultra-violet (UV) light, can cause damage to retinal cells. Prolonged exposure to the light from computer monitors, cell phones and television screens leads to the discomfort of digital eye strain and is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

Reduce your risk of side effects by observing the 20/20/20 rule, limiting screen time for prolonged work and receiving a yearly comprehensive eye exam.  For additional relief, ask your eye doctor about the ways Crizal Penvencia No-Glare lenses selectively filter out harmful blue light. New technology called Light Scan™ allows beneficial blue light to pass through the lens while filtering out the dangerous blue-violet light that can cause age-related macular degeneration.

The Vision Council provides more detail on alleviating digital eye strain in this report.

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