It’s certainly no great secret; we spend a whole lot of time in front of our screens. In today’s digital world our devices are paramount to us keeping connected & entertained. Whether we’re scrolling our socials, binging media content or working behind a screen at our daily job, these devices are more important now than ever.
The average adult can spend anywhere between 6-7 hours a day looking at digital displays. Our reliance on technology is evident, and our devices have become daily essentials. It’s the detrimental health effects they’re having, in particular on our eyes, that’s most alarming.
Over 50% of adults surveyed admitted to suffering symptoms of digital eye strain. So, what exactly is digital eye strain? Simply put, it’s the discomfort felt after prolonged screen exposure. Those telling indicators that your sessions behind a screen are taking their toll.
Symptoms include eye pain & strain, itchiness and fatigue, headaches, blurred vision and even problems sleeping. But why are our screens so bad? What’s causing these symptoms? The answer is blue-light.
Your screens emit blue-light, which sits in the middle of the ‘light spectrum’ between visible blue light & ultra violet (UV) light. Your eyes and these blue-light wavelengths don’t exactly get along. Once blue-light enters your eyes, it disperses, causing your eyeballs to work overtime to process it.
At the end of the day, we’re not going to pack away our devices and stop using them. So how can we combat these symptoms? Here’s 5 ways to reduce your exposure to blue-light and reduce the nasty effects of digital eye strain.
1. Widok Glasses.
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2. Take Regular breaks.
The easiest way to relieve digital eye strain is to put down the devices and give your eyes a break. Studies show that taking a 15 minute break from your screen every 2 hours resulted in increased productivity and lessened the discomfort associated from prolonged screen use. Another tip is to follow the 20-20-20 rule, by looking at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
3. Use a blue-filtering app on your devices.
Most phones have a night mode setting nowadays, which adjusts the colour tones of their display. When enabled, this feature modifies the screen temperature, making the display appear warmer and more orange. This helps filter blue-light, particularly of an evening before bed.
4. Get regular, comprehensive eye exams.
It’s important to get regular check-ups to ensure you don’t have any underlying issues with your peepers. Like anything, professional advice and guidance is highly recommended.
5. Don’t use your devices directly before bed.
Your evening social scrolling & late night Netflix binging makes rolling over and dozing off to sleep easier said than done. That’s because the blue-light wavelengths from these screens reduce your bodies production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Blue-light exposure of an evening tricks your eyes into thinking it’s daytime. So when it’s time to sleep, your body isn’t so accomodating.
The best bet is to switch off your displays before bed. Read a book, do some meditation or better yet, have an undistracted conversation with your significant other. They’ll love it!