Have you ever taken a break from your work computer only to find yourself checking your phone? Are you sat on your laptop whilst watching Netflix on TV? Are you always playing just one more game on the PlayStation? This… is constant screen time.
What is considered screen time?
As the world becomes ever more connected and services move online, screen time has become an integral part of our daily lives as both a want and a need. Banking, food shopping, even paying for your children’s school lunches is largely done online, and with the challenges being presented by COVID-19, it is set to increase. The daily to-do list can be created and ticked off on-screen and then for fun, we head to our TVs and streaming services, online clothes shopping, and gaming. We are even building our communities online, ‘seeing’ family and friends more than ever on video chat, holding work meetings in flipflops and ties. Adults are now spending up to 11 hours a day on average using a screen of some kind and children’s usage is on the increase too. Around the world, constant screen time is the new-ish normal.
Round Bifocal lenses
The same style of lens with the close-up range centred closer to the nose of the wearer, the round bifocal is just as stated, a round shape in place of the horizontal D shape. The round shape for some wearers makes reading easier, but for others, the reduced width of near vision at the top of the close-up section of lens can make reading more difficult and so they tend to opt for the D shape. We can discuss this further with you should you have any questions around this, we appreciate each person is different.
Are screens bad for your eyes?
The health implications of this kind of screen use can depend, person to person, and also by the way it is being used. Naturally, being sat gaming in the dark for several hours a day with no breaks will prove more damaging than checking your phone on your commute home for example. That said, there are several at best, uncomfortable and at worst, potentially long-term detrimental side effects to excessive or constant screen time.
Excessive screen time, with no breaks or methods of alleviation like using gaming glasses, for example, can result in what’s termed as Computer Vision Syndrome, or digital eye strain, which can include;
- Blurred vision
- Burning sensation
- Irritation leading to eye rubbing and bacterial transfer
- Heavy and/or tired eyes
- Eye-watering which is your body’s natural reflex response to dry eyes
These, in turn, can result in headaches and some cases, stress-related conditions. Concentration, clarity, and focus can be impaired which can be stressful, particularly in work and school scenarios.
How do you protect your eyes from screens?
There is no one quick fix to protect your eyes from hours on end of screen time, rather, several tactics you can implement to alleviate strain and allow you to work with your digital way of life, rather than against it.
1. Take a break
Adopting the 20-20-20 rule throughout the day is a simple and effective tactic – 20 minutes screen time broken up with 20-second breaks looking at an object 20 feet away will allow your eyes to readjust throughout the day and relieve strain.
Schedule in longer breaks too, don’t be a slave to the screen! For all manner of health reasons, you should be scheduling a decent lunch break, time to get up and make a coffee or walk around the block. You will come back refreshed and your eyes will thank you for it.
2. Wear screen glasses
Blue light blocking glasses are an excellent way to help protect your eyes. Why? Well, of the colours that make up light, from sunlight to screen light, blue has the shortest wavelength and as a result, is the closest in frequency to UV light – which we already know is harmful. Blue light occurs naturally in sunlight but also in LED and through our screens – our exposure to it is inescapable.
Over time and through extensive research, we now know to wear a hat and sunglasses in sunlight to protect ourselves and so by the same principle, blue-light-blocking glasses can help to protect your eyes from the blue light emitted from our screens.
At Lensology, we offer blue-light-blocking filters as an upgrade to your lenses when you reglaze your glasses with us, whether you have a prescription or not. We also offer blue light glasses as part of our Chester & Scott range. This stylish range are available as both prescription and without, so you can buy ready-to-use blue light blocking glasses even if you don’t wear glasses, allowing for anyone to benefit from the protection of blocking blue light from their screens.
3. Minimise glare and adjust your computer settings
Investing in the best quality screen that you can will help hugely towards your eyecare. Look for an LED flat screen, use a high resolution where possible and adjust your computer settings – find a font size suitable, adjust the brightness, and eliminate flicker to prevent strain on your eyes. Many new monitors now have blue-light settings built-in, making it ever easier to reduce your blue light exposure.
Phones are trickier, given you don’t want to be carrying a TV screen around in your pocket, but for laptops, tablets, gaming screens, and TVs choose the largest screen you can.
In the environment around you, do what you can to minimise glare. Position yourself away from bright reflective surfaces, out of direct sunlight, and don’t watch screens for long periods in the dark. If you wear glasses, opt for an anti-glare coating on your lens – Lensology can help you with this.
4. Remember to blink and exercise your eyes!
It sounds daft, but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget to blink, thus drying your eyes out very quickly. Not blinking can also lead to a propensity to stare, which in itself can cause headaches, dry eyes, and irritation after some time. Blink often, position your screen lower than your eye line where possible to allow your eyelids to cover more of your eyes, and keep moving your eyes around in addition to the 20-20-20 rule to keep eye moisture active.
5. Optimise your workstation
Whether you are in the office, working from home, gaming, or watching TV, make sure your environment within which to do so is of optimum comfort. That doesn’t mean you need to do anything drastic; the key is to make sure your posture is in the correct position to ensure comfort and longevity when you need it most.
At a desk, your feet should be flat on the ground and your keyboard should leave enough room to support your wrists. Position your screen roughly 20-24 inches away from you and allow your screen to be visible making sure your head and neck so you are not straining to see. When watching television, ensure you have enough light to see, that you are not craning your neck to see the screen and that you’re not slumped down for hours on end – be comfortable and mindful of your posture at the same time.
These are just a few key tips to help lessen the strains of constant screen time. Whilst most are adjustments and habitual changes you can make, Lensology are the experts when it comes to glasses and lenses. So, whether you are looking for screen glasses for daily use, or gaming glasses to complete your games in comfort, Lensology are on hand to help.
Visit our, blue light lenses page for further information on their blue-light-blocking range and their five-star reglazing service.