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Digital Eye Fatigue, Wardale Williams in Sudbury

Author: Joanna Williams Published: 8th November 2018 12:27

 Using computers can cause Digital Eye Fatigue

Digital Eye Fatigue, Wardale Williams in Sudbury

Most of us use some sort of digital device with a visual display screen every day.

This can include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and modern TV screens. All of these modern devices emit a certain wavelength of visible blue light which then passes into your eyes when looking at the screen.

There is evidence to suggest that these digital devices can increase eye-strain for those that use them for extended periods of time and can affect the circadian cycle and impact on sleep patterns. This may be because the visible blue light is linked to suppression of the hormone melatonin which would normally make us feel sleepy. There is, however, currently no evidence to suggest that visible blue light has any effect on the development of eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.

As an optometrist, I see many patients who report problems as a result of screen use, such as dry eyes, headaches or eye strain. This is now being called digital eye fatigue. Since most of us cannot avoid the use of digital devices as they are an integral part of our daily life especially at work, we should try to minimise the effects of digital eye fatigue by following some simple advice.

Avoid using screens close to bedtime, or use night settings, if your device has them, to decrease the amount of visible blue light emitted by the screen during the night.

Consider special lens coatings or treatments on your spectacles lenses that filter the visible blue light and hence stop it from reaching your eyes. This can improve visual comfort when looking at screens for prolonged periods as well as improve the contrast, and help mitigate the impact of visible blue light on sleep.

Adhere to the 20/20/20 rule, so every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds.

Use lubricating eye drops to supplement your tears if dryness is a problem. This can be made worse if exposed to air conditioning.

Have a sight test at least every two years, and take the advice of your optometrist.

50 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, CO10 2ET


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