Technology is an amazing thing. It seems like there is always a new piece of technology being released that everyone is buzzing about. Technology is being developed constantly so that it can meet our ever-changing needs. It helps us connect us with family and friends and, let’s be honest, it makes our lives so much easier. But with all the good that technology brings, it can also bring negative effects, especially for your eyes.
In today’s world, technology is everywhere. During the average day we are compelled to multiple digital devices and screens, like cell phones, tablets, computers, and television screens. It seems that we almost have to try to avoid regular viewing of some piece of technology, as it literally surrounds us. In fact, studies have shown that over a third of adults spend more than half their day using technology, while others have admitted their technology usage consumes 10-12 hours of their time per day. Adults aren’t the only ones being affected, as kids are becoming more involved with devices and other forms of technology at home and in the classroom.
Although we are constantly exposing our eyes to technology, many people are often inattentive to the harsh effects of extended technology use on their eyes. Check out some of the common effects that technology can have on people’s eye health due to continued use of devices and screens throughout the day.
Today, it is a normal habit to bring your phone and other personal devices with you to bed. While it is not healthy for your eyes, most Americans have fully adopted this habit as they use their mobile devices for alarms instead of using the classic alarm clock. However, having direct exposure to the blue light that is transmitted by LED devices can end up really damaging the retina. The blue light from the screens can reach deeper into the eye than UV light, which is why retina damage is a result. And, staring at certain wavelengths of blue light — especially at night — can be involved in the development of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, and can damage your central vision, which can affect the ability to see objects that are right in front of you.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Another problem that can come from extended or constant exposure to screens is Computer Vision Syndrome. The term, CVS, was initially used in the context of those who worked in offices and spent most of their day in front of a computer. Now, the symptoms that are associated with CVS have increased, affecting millions of people, regardless of whether or not they have an office job. Symptoms of CVS can include:
- Dry eye
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Eye strain
- Itchy or watery eyes
These symptoms can range from mild to severe discomfort and are a natural effect from the eyes working so hard. When you are looking at your personal devices, the television, or anything with a digital screen, you may experience noticeable reactions that could increase the chances of CVS symptoms. Take a look at three common reactions that could lead to lead to CVS just from looking at screens:
When your brain is focused on what is on a screen, you can forget to blink, which can decrease your blinks per minute to a small seven to eight blinks. Normally, under regular conditions, the human eye generally blinks about 12-15 times per minute. When we blink, a thin layer of tears is spread over our eyes, so the less you blink, the less lubrication your eyes are getting, which can commonly lead to sore or dry eyes.
When you’re looking at a digital screen, like the one on a smartphone, you may often catch yourself holding the device closer to your eyes than you would with printed text, like a book or newspaper. Bringing your eyes closer to a digital screen forces your eyes to work harder to focus on certain areas at close ranges, which can really tire out the eyes.
When we are reading a printed novel, magazine, or newspaper we normally look down to read. However, when we are staring at digital screens, such as televisions, our eyes are focused directly ahead. This is considered an unfavorable lid positioning, as more of your eye is exposed, which could lead to dryness. Unfavorable lid positioning, paired with a reduced amount of blinking can leave you with irritating dry and tired eyes.
Headaches and Migraines
One of the most common negative effects of overexposing your eyes to digital devices and screens are headaches. This is due to the connection between the eyes and the brain. When you stare at a screen for an extended period of time, eyestrain can occur and lead to a painful tension headache. Eye strain and headaches can be triggered by the brightness of the screen against the darkness of the text. Because of this, our eyes work hard to be able to focus, which can lead to muscle spasms near the temples.
Some eye strain can also lead to migraines, which can be extremely uncomfortable. Along with the pulsing and throbbing pain, migraines can come with nausea and visual symptoms like flashing, light sensitivity, and even temporary blindness.
It is undeniable that technology makes our lives easier, more enjoyable, and more efficient (most of the time). However, with the given side effects of overexposure, and the risks associated with it, from devices like laptops, smartphones, and other LED-emitting technology on your eyes it is very important to remember to take breaks from the devices every once and awhile
If you are an active user of devices and screens, you can protect your eyes by doing simple tasks like adjusting the brightness on your devices and ensuring that you are protected from eye strain by keeping a safe distance between you and a screen. You can also help protect your eyes by taking Lumega-Z. Lumega-Z is a medical food that was created to replenish and restore the macular protective pigment in your eyes, which protects the macula against damaging blue light, free radicals, and is associated with a decreased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Lumega-Z also contains ingredients that may be beneficial for other types of eye diseases, like cataract formation and glaucoma. To learn more about this revolutionary ocular health medical food, contact Guardion Health Services today!