The need to go through eye checkups arises as we spend more time with electronic screens. Some of us are guilty of this routine. The first thing we do in the morning is stretch by reaching for our smartphones to turn off the alarm and proceeding to check some messages. While eating breakfast, we flick the “paper” to read the latest news or gossip on our small digital screens. At work, we stare all day at our laptops or desktops. Before we go to sleep and finally close our tired eyes, our gadgets are the last things we see. And this routine goes on and on and on, like a broken record that finally takes toll on our eyes.
Anything that leads to abuse will have a negative effect to our health. It has a name, in case you’re not aware, the Computer-vision syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain. The symptoms are blurred vision, dry eyes, headache, pain in the neck/shoulders/back, and of course, eye strain. Do any of these ring a bell or have you already experienced and mistaken them as a result of a tiring day?
We check on our gadgets for every – 30? 15? 10 minutes? Well, we will never know because it how long we check is second nature to us, anyways. On average, we spend more than 9 hours tinkering with our electronic gadgets. From sun up to sun down, and ‘til you finish the 20th episode of your favorite drama series. And, oh, the places our digital devices go. In the office, school, home, inside our pockets, and even – gasp – inside the bathroom.
What are the bad habits we need to avoid and stop altogether to prevent CVS? The size of the text must be human readable and not laboratory specimen samples. Be mindful of how long we spend in front of the screen. Put a reasonable distance between you and the device. Just follow the “20×4” (20-20-20-20) rule. 20 inches away from the screen, take a 20-second break every 20 minutes then look at something at least 20 feet away.
According to The Vision Council’s 2015 Digital Eye Strain report, prolonged and extreme staring at screens could damage the retina because of the blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) it produces. The average intensity a screen releases is about 415 to 455 nanometers (nm), and this is a harmful range. It also reduces the blink rate of our eyes. Blinking is a natural action of our eyes to produce moisture.
If we can’t prevent these bad habits, we will most likely experience Digital Eye Strain. Later, as we age, it could lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), myopia or nearsightedness and cataracts.
Developing good habits must start from childhood and parents have an important role in make this possible. Most parents today may have already caught this syndrome but they should not let their children suffer, too. Today, some schools let their students use tablets or other digital device as part of their curriculum. At home, parents must constantly monitor the amount of screen time of their kids for health reasons.
We buy sunglasses for sale in the Philippines to protect us from the sun’s UV rays. On the other hand, we have what we call computer glasses to protect us from digital screen glare. Don’t just buy bargain computer glasses. Visit an optometrist who will prescribe you the right one and maybe he will let you choose an eyeglasses frame as a bonus. Make sure your prescription should have anti-reflective properties that will filter HEV or blue light.
In this digital age, it seems it should be mandatory to have annual eye checkups because of our constant exposure to various electronic devices. If we only buy sunglasses for sale in the Philippines during summer days, then computer eyeglasses should be a must-have accessory all-year round.