Digital Eye Strain
A guest blog from Cascadia Eye’s CEO, Sheri Saldivar
Love to read on that Kindle? It sure is easier to pay bills online! And it’s great to keep up with the family on Facebook and text messages—but now what about the blurred vision, eyestrain, headaches and dry eyes?
Yes, these issues all appear to be related, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
Our eyes may not have been meant to spend more the two hours a day looking at a screen, which is what more than 80% of adults and 70% of American children are reported to do. And 55% report that they are using some type of screen within the first hour they are awake, and 80% in the hour before going to sleep!
Many eye care professionals agree with findings that suggest the light emitted from screens may be linked to sleep problems; recurrent headaches; and red, itchy and, most notably, dry eyes. Also, when you are looking intently at the screen, you may be blinking less than you need to, contributing to the dry eye problem. Dry eyes not only cause pain and discomfort but inconsistent vision as the cornea is unable to uniformly focus the images due to the “irritated” surface.
So, my eyes may be suffering from too much screen use—besides giving up on my screens, what can be done about it?
First, be aware and limit your time, if possible. Give your eyes a break with several slow blinks to let your tears do their job. There are lenses designed just for handheld screen use, and lens coatings to block the UV and blue light emitted. If you are suffering from dry eyes, there are several treatments available—from artificial tears and omega 3’s, to prescription drugs such as Restasis, Xiidra or Cequia, or punctal plugs and procedures like iLUX to help your eyes better use the tears you have.
If you are experiencing symptoms which may be related to digital eye strain, start with seeing your eye doctor to discuss solutions available.
Contact Cascadia Eye
If you would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at Cascadia Eye, please contact us today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!