Eye strain is common due to long-term use of computers, digital devices, phones, reading or driving long distances. As people spend longer time indoors using computers or other digital devices for both work and leisure, digital eye strain aka Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a common issue.
How to recognise eye strain? Watch out for the following symptoms-
Sensitivity to light
Neck and shoulder pain
Hard time keeping the eyes open
What causes CVS?
While staring at the screen for long periods, the eyes are constantly shifting focus and moving with less blinking. Combined with the glare and contrast, this can be tough on the eyes.
Where can we find blue light?
Most blue light emit from the sun. Gadgets like televisions, smartphones, laptops, and tablets have become modern blue light source.
Why worried about blue light?
A recent study published in June 2020 showed adults averaged 4 hours and 54 minutes on a laptop before the lockdown and 5 hours and 10 minutes after. They spent 4 hours and 33 minutes on the smartphone before, and 5 hours and 2 minutes after.
My own screen time statistic apparently is pretty in par comparing to the average usage.
What about screen time for children?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
No screen time until 2 years old (except for video chatting)
Less than one hour of screen time for children ages 2 to 5.
This allows more time for other activities and interactions fundamental to children’s physical and intellectual development.
How to reduce digital eye strain?
-Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
-Choose screens that tilt and swivel
-Regularly clean your screen as smudges can reduce contrast
-Use a glare filer
-Reduce glare on your screen through proper lighting
-Use an adjustable chair
-Adjust lighting according to activity
-Use night mode on gadgets
-Use artificial tears when eyes begin to feel dry
-Apply warm, wet washcloth to tired eyes
-Rest eyes from contact lens occasionally
More info about CVS here on WebMD.
What about blue light blocking glasses?
Anecdotal evidence has shown effectiveness in delaying onset of digital eye strain by reducing glare. Blue light blocking glasses can filter out the blue light emitted from digital screens.
Less blue light also improves sleep as the production of melatonin hormone is normalized. A 2017 study performed by the University of Houston found that participants wearing the glasses showed a 58% increase in their nighttime melatonin levels.
Therefore, we have gotten a pair of Eyeshield KL kids glasses for Bing. My boy has to attend preschool classes over a 2 hours stretch with no break on weekdays. As both Mr husband and I have high grade myopias, we have to help our children to mitigate their risks! The glasses are light and comfortable to wear. Bing has less tendency to rub his eyes and complain of fatigue after wearing them to his online class. He is also able to turn in earlier at night now.
Interested parents please check this out-