The sun has set and the dark sky reveals its starry freckles. It’s bedtime, but the ‘Continue Watching’ button on your screen sparks temptation. One more episode? Staring at the computer, your eyes grow tired and dry. It’s the blue light…right? So you try lowering the brightness of the screen. You even dial up the warm light settings. Blink-blink. No good. You have digital eye strain and it’s 2 am.
What is Digital Eye Strain?
During the pandemic, our screen time has increased. More of us are working from home and studying online. As you know, staring at a digital screen for extended periods can strain your eyes. But our screens are not necessarily to blame. It’s the way people use technology that can cause digital eye strain. Phones, computers and tablets–we often hold them 20 to 22 cm from our face. According to your eyes, this is too close for comfort.
If you’re reading this blog up close, we understand the irony.
Have you noticed we forget to blink? When our attention is focused on a screen, the human eye blinks a mere 7 to 8 times per minute. Compare that to 12 to 15 blinks per minute under normal conditions. We get it, remembering to blink is hard while watching an intense season finale. But without taking consistent breaks from our screen, we increase the risk of other issues:
- Itchy, dry and/or watery eyes
- Difficulty focusing
- Double or blurred vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
To protect against digital eye strain, try the “20, 20, 20” method. Every 20 minutes it’s a good idea to focus on something at least 20 feet (approx. 6 meters) for at least 20 seconds. This helps to relieve your eyes from the digital screen. Also try viewing your device at a favourable angle, one that exposes less eye area to the (drying) air.
Does Blue Light Cause Eye Damage?
Blue light, you’ve heard of this. The dangers of LED blue light is one of the hottest health topics to circle the internet. Warnings about blue light started to emerge as our screen time increased last year during the lockdown. Perhaps you have seen ads for blue light glasses. But, what is blue light?
Blue light is a spectrum of colour that travels in short wavelengths. The sun produces a natural source of blue light, which boosts our attention, reaction time and mood during daylight hours. At night, the absence of blue light helps our bodies produce melatonin–the key ingredient to falling asleep. So when we use devices at night, the artificial digital blue light of the screen suppresses melatonin biosynthesis. In other words, LED blue light blocks the development of sleepy brain chemicals.
But good news! There is no evidence to support that exposure to LED blue light causes damage to your eyes. So why should we use blue-light-blocking glasses?
Blue Light Glasses
Let’s face it, we spend a long time in front of digital screens–especially at night. Wearing glasses that block LED blue light before bedtime can decrease the loss of melatonin. However, commercially available glasses do not block 100% digital blue light. They do not guarantee better sleep.
So whether you’re finishing an assignment or starting that next episode, blue light glasses can be useful for late-night screen time. Plus, they look cool. Here at Edgy Specs, we provide blue light filters in any frame for our customers.
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