If you think you are someone who spends too long looking at a screen during the day, you might find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In fact, research shows that American adults spend almost 11 hours each day looking at a screen. This number is only continuing to climb. If you wonder, how does too much screen time affect your eyes, this post is here to tell you!
More time on devices and computers
With people feeling the impacts of the virus across the world, it’s no surprise that more folks are turning to screens. It’s part of new routines many people are creating at home instead of going about the daily routine before the pandemic.
There are so many activities to do on mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and PCs too. You might have an online class, business meeting, movie marathon, video gaming session, or catch up with friends on a video call, It’s easy to losing track of your screen time.
What you might not realize, though, is how these online activities are affecting your vision.
So, how does too much screen time affect your eyes?
Constantly looking at monitors and smartphone screens is not an issue to take lightly. It can actually cause long-lasting effects on our eyes.
One of the reasons your eyes don’t respond well to too much screen time is because you automatically blink less when you are staring at a screen. That can lead to eye strain.
Plus, your eyes have to work twice as hard to follow any movement happening on the screen and keep focusing on it. It’s good to get a vision checkup to stay on top of any issues, but also vitally important to watch out for the symptoms below.
Common signs you might be spending too much time looking at screens are:
Dry and irritated eyes
Do your eyes feeling itchy and irritated after being online for a while? That’s likely because you’re not blinking as much as you ought to be.
Dry, itchy eyes can develop into blurry vision. Eye drops are a great way to help with this symptom and make your eyes feel more comfortable.
This one is particularly an issue for children as natural light is so key to eye development. If children are staying inside a lot and staring at their screens instead of being outside, their eyes won’t get enough light.
That can cause near-sightedness to develop over time. If you find it difficult to pull them away from the devices, use these creative tips to limit kids’ screen time.
One of the main issues that can occur due to too much screen time is eye fatigue. I’ve felt it!
Tired peepers can cause headaches and make concentrating much more difficult. You might also experience double vision.
How does screen time affect your eyes? Retinal damage
Retinal damage is one of the worst long-lasting effects of spending an abundance of time staring at screens. It can lead to early age-related macular degeneration, which can then develop to become a loss of eyesight.
Retinal damage occurs when digital devices release a blue light that reaches the inner lining of the back of your eye where the retina is located. In cases where you think you might have damaged your retina, head to a professional for an eye exam.
During this exam, the specialist may need to dilate your pupils. They do so to ensure that they have as much light as possible to see into the back of your eye to diagnose the exact problem.
Sleep issues: Another way screen time affects your eyes
Looking at screens for too long can also impact your sleep cycles. That is because of the blue light produced by digital devices, which can alter the brain’s sleep rhythms, especially if you are looking at screens close to bedtime.
This happens because your brain takes in this special blue light and registers it as being daylight, which makes your body clock change. Sleep issues are not something to take lightly, so it is important to ensure that you are cutting back on screen time.