How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain During Quarantine

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain During Quarantine

The Stay at Home Order has significantly diminished our options for recreation, hasn’t it?  Restaurants, theaters and parks are closed, and I find myself on social media and Netflix more than ever. I also see my kids on their devices more often these days. I tend to forgive myself and all the members of my household because, after all, what other options do we have?

Although I think it is totally fine to give ourselves some grace for binging on video games and Amazon Prime, I have to remind myself that my eyes don’t know the difference between Quarantine 2020 and Pre-Quarantine 2020. Too much screen time can adversely affect our vision, and the damage can have lasting consequences.

According to a survey by The Vision Council, found that 80 percent of individuals use digital devices more than two hours per day, and 67 percent use two devices at the same time.  Studies show overexposure to digital screens can do harm to our eyesight because screens emit high-energy blue light with short wavelengths that penetrate deep into the eye. Increased exposure to blue light suppresses the body’s natural release of melatonin and cause insomnia and sleep interruption. Too much blue light could also increase the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Symptoms of digital eye strain

One of the first symptoms you will notice of overexposure to blue light is physical discomfort. Staring at computer screens and digital devices can cause eye strain, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eye.  Unfortunately, our eyes are not made to look at screens all day.  Even though digital devices increase efficiency in our jobs and communication, we are putting our vision and overall wellness at risk.

Fashionable solutions to the problem of blue light

In the past years, new eyewear has been developed that can filter out blue light.  With anti-reflective, anti-glare properties, these specialized lenses can decrease brightness, minimize glare and reduce blurriness and pixelation of screens.

About a year ago, I bought my first pair of blue light- filtering lenses. They cost $21.99 on Amazon and I love them! They are actually made for gamers, and if you know me, I don’t exactly fit the definition of a gamer. The last time I played video games was on my Grandma Shirley’s Atari system when I was in elementary school.

Apart from the deep yellow-tinted lenses that make me look like I’m about to go to the shooting range, the glasses are perfect. They are lightweight, and after about a minute I forget that I’m wearing them. The best part about my gaming goggles is they WORK! I don’t struggle with headaches, eye strain, or dry eye anymore. I also struggle with insomnia and wearing blue light- filtering glasses have made a huge difference. I can fall asleep with much less tossing and turning and I don’t wake up as much at night.

You might think that digital devices don’t bother your vision, but I challenge you to take the $21.99 plunge and buy a pair. Once you begin wearing them and you take off your glasses for a moment, any screen immediately appears too bright and glaring. That difference is what makes me keep wearing them.

No one knows how long the quarantine will last, so take the necessary steps to protect your vision. Here are three things you can do to protect yourself from digital eye strain and excessive blue light exposure:

  1. Limit your screen time for yourself and your children, and take frequent breaks.
  2. Purchase anti-glare, anti-reflective eyewear, and wear the eyewear during screen time.
  3. Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away.

I’m telling you, these glasses are the best deal in town. Take some of the money that you’re not spending on gas and buy some protective eyewear for your family. Comment below and let me know what you think of blue light-filtering glasses. They make me look like a total dork, but they’ve made a tremendous difference in my eye comfort.

Happy Netflixing, Robloxing, Tik Tokking, etc.