Modern life is highly dependent on technology. We spend countless hours staring at various screens each day. We perform our work tasks using computers, entertain ourselves by watching TV, and scroll through social media on our phones. These are supposed to increase productivity and convenience, but they also have negative side effects. For example, our eyes can suffer from looking at bright displays throughout the day. It is not just about the amount of illumination but also its quality. These devices emit harmful blue light which can impair vision and overall health. Eye doctors are concerned about it, and you should be as well. Companies such as Blue Optical have risen to help provide solutions to this problem.
Many gamers and knowledge workers complain about tired eyes after spending extended periods in front of their monitors. This digital eye strain can be severe enough to prevent them from finishing their tasks in a timely manner. Some might experience dry eyes or watery eyes because of their phone addiction. These are so common that we often disregard them as a normal part of life. After resting, we are often ready to do it all again the next day. The problem is that prolonged exposure can lead to chronic issues down the road. Consider the following strategies to save your eyes from the negative health effects of harmful blue light:
1. Limit Use of Digital Devices
The most straightforward way of minimizing eye damage is to limit our use of digital devices. It is virtually impossible to completely eliminate them from our lives since they are truly useful for work, communications, and daily transactions. However, we can gradually reduce the number of hours that we spend with each one. The reality is that people tend to overindulge on mindless entertainment. We could set up programs that track our device usage and limit our access to addicting apps. Then we will have more free time for exercise, naps, hobbies, and loved ones.
2. Cut Back on Screens Before Bedtime
If you are having trouble reducing your screen exposure during the day, then try to focus on developing healthier bedtime habits instead. Go about your day as you normally would but put your phone down about an hour or two before you sleep. Blue light from screens tends to excite the brain and make you feel more alert. This is not a good thing when you are trying to wind things down and rest. Put your phone on silent mode and place it where you can’t reach it. Turn off the room lights, listen to nature sounds, and set the air conditioner to a colder setting. These will help your body get in mood for sleep.
3. Get Lenses with a Harmful Blue Light Filter
If you have no choice but to work with a computer during office hours, then you have to find ways to protect your eyes while staring at a big monitor. Some people will cover the screen with a sheet that filters blue light. Others will get lenses with a blue light filter. The latter is a more practical solution since you can put on the glasses or take it off as you wish. It is easier to see the actual colors of images in case you need to. Your eyes will be protected even if you move to a different workstation or use other devices.
4. Use Apps Designed for Eye Care
There are applications for desktop computers and mobile phones that are capable of lowering the amount of blue light emitted on the screen. You can set timers to allow the screens to work normally during the day and move to a warmer tone during the night. This is particularly helpful when using phones as it can help you reduce eye strain and maintain your sleep schedule. However, it would still be better to have a strict limit on the use of mobile devices during the night.
5. Upgrade to Better Hardware
Eye strain is a problem that hardware manufacturers are addressing. They want users to be as comfortable as possible while engaged with their products. They are working on technologies that can reduce blue light emission, minimize distortion, improve ergonomics, and provide better image quality. If you are using an old monitor or laptop, then consider upgrading your hardware. Check models with eye-care features. You can also try mounting your monitor on an ergonomic arm with multiple adjustable points for better positioning.
6. Blink and Rest Your Eyes More
Finally, you might want to set up recurring alarms. Remind yourself to rest your eyes every half hour or so. Ignore the screen for a moment and close your eyes to help it reset. You can also stand up and look out the window. Focus on something that is 20 feet or farther. Find green objects such as trees as these tend to be more relaxing. These periodic breaks will help you work longer without feeling so tired at the end of the day. They will increase your productivity because you will be more alert and focused on your tasks.