You may have heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking.” At Raleigh Eye Center, we think the slogan should be “staring is the new smoking.” Most adults in this day and age spend massive amounts of time staring at screens, and the damage it does to our eyes can be significant. Below are just a few ways you can protect your eye health in today’s digital world.
If your computer can be used as a light source, like a flashlight, it’s probably too bright. Give your eyes some relief by adjusting the brightness to match your surrounding workstation. Never work on a bright screen while in total darkness. You can help reduce eye strain by adjusting your computer’s contrast settings and text size. Reading an extra-large font might make you feel like a senior citizen, but not as much as cataracts or macular degeneration will!
There are many low-cost items available online that can help protect your eyes from digital screen strain. Yellow-tinted computer glasses are one of the simplest, most affordable ways to minimize blue light damage. If you wear prescription glasses, purchasing a brand with an anti-reflective AR coating can help reduce the amount of light reflecting off the front and back of your lenses.
Blue light is the portion of visible light with the shortest wavelengths, and the highest amount of energy output. Since blue waves are shorter than red waves, you might think that they do less damage to our eyes. But in fact, blue light is more easily scattered and less focused than warm-colored (long-wavelength) light. This is why, when we stare at a blue-tinted screen, the unfocused visual “noise” hurts our eyes. While blue light is natural, and much of it comes from the sun, it can be very damaging because almost all of it passes through the cornea and goes right to the retina, damaging light-sensitive cells and causing macular degeneration over time.
If you use a computer for much of the day, it’s very important that you invest in a yearly eye exam. Our Raleigh NC optometrists can help test your eyes for common vision problems and assess whether your vision is worsening over time. If you need an eye exam in Raleigh, click here to request an appointment.