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Your screen may be damaging your eyes

Health & Fitness

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This story is brought to you by Summit Eyecare, whose entire optometry staff located in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Rexburg, St. Anthony and Butte is committed to ensuring the comfort and satisfaction of each and every patient. Click here to find out more.

Have you ever been on your phone for so long, your eyes hurt and were dry and fatigued? Did those hours playing “Fortnite” give you a headache?

Eye care professionals have a name for this: computer vision syndrome. It’s the visual discomfort experienced after staring at a screen for an extended period of time.

And research indicates it may be damaging your eyes.

Your device’s screen emits blue light, which is naturally occurring and is in sunlight. However, staring at a screen close-up for long periods of time can lead to problems beyond immediate discomfort.

Blue light appears to prematurely age the eyes and lead to macular degeneration. It possibly increases the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts as well.

In addition, some studies indicate it can cause or hasten nearsightedness in children.

The studies aren’t completely conclusive on how much damage the blue light from our devices is damaging our eyes, but there does appear to be a connection. And why take chances with your vision?

Here’s what you and your family can do today:

  • Implement the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes on a device, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. During this time, take slow blinks to moisten your eyes.
  • If you’re using a computer, position the monitor 20 to 18 inches away, and adjust the top of your screen to be slightly tilted away from you, below eye level.
  • Turn on your phone’s nighttime setting in the evening. This will minimize your blue light exposure.
  • A regular change of scenery is a good idea. If you’re at work, for instance, take regular breaks and walk around the office — without looking at your phone.
  • Spend more time outdoors. It could slow down nearsightedness in your children, and you will probably create better memories than you would have sitting on the couch anyway!
  • If eye strain problems seem to grow or persist, visit an optometrist.