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Look after your eyes & they'll look after you. Find your nearest store

How the use of screens can affect your eyes

How the use of screens can affect your eyes

It’s a new year and new start for many of us with the typical new year’s resolutions set and underway as well. Things like watching what we eat, exercising, loosing weight, drinking water, going to the gym are historically common resolutions while more recently many of us make the intention to cut down on screen time be that in the form of a tablet, mobile, computer, or any other screen.

With many of us spending most of our days on our VDU to utilise the benefits they offer, it is understandable why there is a need to reduce the hours we spend using these devices. Socially, it will allow us to interact by means of interacting with others face to face. By reducing our time spent using digital devices, we’ll also have more time to dedicate to other tasks – and to ourselves too. There are also numerous benefits for your eyes, some of which are listed below.

When we are working with VDU, we often don’t realise that we have been staring at the screen for longer than we intended to. We get carried away, and in this “staring” at the screen we naturally blink less. This results in our tears drying up. As a result, we start to get symptoms of dry eyes which results in ocular discomfort that can affect our productivity when we are working on screens.

To relieve this, the regular use of dry eye drops will ensure that your eyes remain hydrated and therefore symptom-free. We can also try to consciously make the effort to bink and so every so often give our eyes a nice tight blink.

As well as our eyes getting dry with excessive screen time, without realising we also strain our eyes when we sit on screens for long hours. Typically, our eyes are relaxed when we look into the distance. When looking up close, the muscles within our eye that control the ability of our lens to zoom in and out contract and work harder, however this can only be maintained for a certain amount of time and when the muscles do eventually get tired, our eyes start to feel strained and this can sometimes lead to headaches.

The effect of this can be reduced by taking regular breaks. It is generally advised to follow the 20:20:20 rule where one takes a 20 second break after 20 minutes of screen time and looks 20 feet away.

HOYA Sync III lenses are also a great product when it comes to alleviating eye strain. They have a boost portion at the bottom of the lens which allows us to relax our eyes when we look through that particular portion of the lens as it reduces the amount of zoom required up close thus reducing the amount of effort our muscles need to exert.

VDU also emit lots of light which is also known to strain one’s eyes. More recently emphasis has been placed on the amount of blue light (short wavelength) that is emitted from VDU screens and the ways it can affect the eye.

One of the effects of exposure to blue light from screens is insomnia, especially when they are used before bed. To reduce the effects of blue light on one’s eyes a blue light coating is advisable. This coating filters out a fair amount of the blue light emitted from screens thus helping to alleviate the effects of blue light.

Employees who work with digital devices regularly are entitled to sight tests from their employers. If you are a regular VDU user, enquire with your employer about your sight test entitlement and if there is any contribution on their part towards your spectacles.

For more information, please call into one of our stores where a member of our team will be happy to book an appointment for you, or simply answer any questions you may have with regards to VDUs, their effects on the eyes and what can be done to minimise this.
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