Eyes & Screens: How to Protect Your Eyes From Your Gadgets

Technology has become a vital part in all areas of our lives. From using the computer at work or school enjoying a movie with friends or watching an episode on Netflix after a long day, technology is everywhere!  Our phones are not only a tool for communication, but an endless source of entertainment when we find ourselves on a long bus ride or waiting in line for an appointment. However, most of us are unaware that the time we spend looking at our gadgets may be damaging our eyes.

Screens emit a large amount of blue light, which penetrates deep into the eyeball and over time can cause damage to the retina. This can lead to macular degeneration; a condition that leads to vision loss due to damage of the macula, the central part of your retina. Excessive amounts of time looking at a computer or other gadgets can also cause eye strain, which causes fatigue and can decrease your productivity during important tasks. However, this does not mean that you need to stop using your computer or phone, it just means that you should take the steps necessary to protect your eyes in the same way you protect them from the sun.

So, what can you do to filter out this harmful light?

  • Add a blue light filter to your lenses. This will block any harmful rays and prevent any eye strain that you may be experiencing
  • If you have not had an eye exam in the past two years, call your optometrist and book an appointment. This will ensure your prescription is up to date, and regular eye exams can help diagnose eye diseases early, improving the effectiveness of the treatment
  • Take breaks! Spending a long amount of time in front of any device is not healthy. Give yourself time to look away and relax your eyes before continuing with what you are doing. Going for a walk is a great way to give your eyes a chance to relax (but don’t forget your sunglasses!)
  • Don’t forget to blink. This prevents dry eyes by restoring the moisture. Dry eyes can be irritating and itchy, so blinking more will reduce this problem
  • Make sure your children’s eyes are protected! Due to the increase in time that kids spend watching television, playing games or doing homework, it is important to remove the risk of damage to their eyes and keep them healthy