Electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops play a big role in our daily life.
Although they help us work more efficiently and keep us socially connected, too much screen time can harm our eye health.
A recent study showed that the average office worker spends about 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen.
The excessive screen time is linked to health problems including eye strain, dry eye, headaches, and sleep loss.
To help people protect their eyes from too much screen time, experts from the American Academy of Ophthalmology provide 6 tips.
First, keep the correct distance.
Research has shown that our eyes have to work harder to see close up than far away.
You should try to keep the monitor or device screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away. When looking at the screen, your eye gaze should be slightly downward.
Second, reduce glare from glass screens.
Glass screens from computers or smartphones can produce glare that aggravates the eyes. You can use a matte screen filter to reduce the glare.
Third, prevent dry eyes.
You should keep artificial tears at hand to help lubricate your eyes and prevent dry eyes. You can also use a desktop humidifier.
This is especially important in winter because heaters can make the air dry.
Fourth, have frequent rests.
Experts suggest people take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This 20-20-20 rule can help your eyes relax.
Fifth, adjust the lighting in your environment.
A much brighter screen than room light can make your eyes tired because your eyes have to work harder to see.
You can avoid this by increasing the lighting in the room and the contrast on your screen.
Sixth, avoid using devices before sleep.
Recent research has shown that blue light from electronic devices can disturb sleep because it affects our body clock.
Sleep loss can harm eye health and bring other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Experts suggest people limit screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime.
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