The amount of time we spend in front of the screens today is not insignificant and the toll on our eyes is something that is part of all conversations in all walks of life, especially those working in the technology fields where work and time in front of the computer are synonymous. But whether we are actually able to reduce our screen time is a very individualized question, mostly because for most folks working in technology, science, engineering and the works, there really is no choice in the matter. With jobs requiring us to be in front of some type of screen, our hands are ultimately tied. Moreover, even after a long day working in front of our screens, many people decompress in front of another type of screen – watching sports, binge watching a show, etc.
At the end of pretty much any day of the week, the total number of hours we’re using technology and in front of a screen – whether it’s for work or pleasure – is a lot. Quantifying the number of hours is not as important as simply acknowledging that the number of hours in total is too large. And that is true for kids too. Our eyes are paying for it as Research Verified reviews reminds us. The damage is not insignificant.
Rest Your Eyes
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) describes both eye strain and pain including dryness, burning, redness. Implement ready-made breaks is considered to be one of the easiest ways to rest your eyes throughout the day. Frequent computer breaks are shown to be key. The well known 20-20-20 rule has you taking a 20-second break looking at something at least 20 feet away for every 20 minutes you are on the computer. Also, research reports recommend trying to blink a lot and keep your eyes moist as much as possible, in addition to adjusting the computer settings, including the brightness of the monitor, to be the right match for you. Whatever you’re doing, your relationship to technology can afford time for these brief pauses from the screen. Really, everything can wait.
Another relatively easy option is to go the Omega-3 route; it is no secret that the fatty acids help with retinal degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and overall eye health. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) which can be found in Omega-3, has been shown to help with vision including dry eye syndrome. The amount of Omega-3 that most Americans get in their diet by eating fish, is low to almost none. So Omega-3 is something to consider – even if you are not a fish person or a supplement kind of buyer. Our eyes need an extra boost from somewhere.
Enforce Screen Limits
Best not to dismiss this option just yet. But we really get it. For most of us, we’ll say there’s no real way that enforcing screen limits is going to happen, in any kind of systemic way. And if that’s the case, it may not be an all or nothing proposition. You can certainly discipline yourself around the screen on the weekends and in the evenings, even if it’s not in a highly significant way. Certainly being aware of the amount of time you are in front of a screen is a first step to even taking measures to change your habits, even just a bit.
There are no easy solutions for this one – we wish there were. The pixels and screens are part of our lives in permanent ways. And so are our eyes. It’s finding some type of balance that is needed ultimately – just like everything else.