How Much Screen Time is Too Much? Tips from Home Visiting Opticians

Screen Time

The Impact of Screen Time on Eye Health

In today’s digital age, screen time has become an integral part of our lives. From smartphones and tablets to computers and televisions, we are constantly surrounded by screens. However, excessive screen time can have a detrimental effect on our eye health. As home visiting opticians, we understand the importance of striking a balance and ensuring the well-being of your eyes.

Research suggests that prolonged screen time can lead to various eye-related issues such as digital eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. This occurs due to factors like staring at screens for extended periods without breaks, improper viewing distances, poor posture, and inadequate lighting. Recognising the signs and taking preventive measures is crucial for maintaining healthy eyes.

It is thought that when we are using our screens, whether our phone or computers, we blink less. Blinking helps keep the eyes moist and reduces a build-up of dust and bacteria. Blinking less can cause dry eye symptoms and increase the likelihood of eye infections.

For children in particular, eye health can be seriously affected by limitless screen time. Children’s eyes are still developing, and continued screen time can cause Myopia (short sightedness), or eye strain. Whilst it can be a challenge to limit screen time – especially during the school holidays – it’s important that children spend time away from the screens to support a healthy eyesight.

Signs of Digital Eye Strain and Tips to Alleviate It

Digital eye strain is a common condition resulting from excessive screen time. Some of its symptoms include eye discomfort, redness, irritation, dryness, and fatigue. If you experience any of these signs after prolonged device use, it’s important to act. Here are some tips to alleviate digital eye strain:

  1. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. This simple exercise relaxes eye muscles and reduces strain.
  2. Adjust your screen settings: Optimise your device’s brightness, contrast, and font size to minimise eye strain. A bright screen in a dimly lit room or a dim screen in a brightly lit room can strain your eyes.
  3. Maintain proper posture: Sit at a comfortable distance from the screen, ideally about an arm’s length away, and ensure your screen is at eye level. Avoid hunching or slouching, as it can lead to neck and shoulder pain.
  4. Blink frequently: Staring at screens often leads to reduced blinking, causing dry eyes. Make a conscious effort to blink frequently to keep your eyes moist and prevent discomfort.

Protecting Your Eyes in the Digital Era

To safeguard your eyes in this digital era, it’s crucial to adopt healthy habits. Here are some additional tips to reduce the impact of screen time on your eye health:

  1. Limit screen time: Set boundaries on the amount of time you spend in front of screens. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes and engage in other activities that don’t require screen use.
  2. Use blue light filters: blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your sleep patterns and cause eye strain. Consider installing blue light filters or using specialised glasses that block blue light to minimise its effects.
  3. Visit a home visiting optician: Regular eye examinations are essential to detect any vision changes or eye conditions. Home visiting opticians provide convenient and personalised eye care services, ensuring you can prioritise your eye health without disrupting your routine.
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and zinc can promote eye health. Additionally, staying hydrated and getting regular exercise benefit both your overall health and eye well-being.

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Book an eye test with Opticall Eyecare

In today’s screen-dominated world, it’s crucial to strike a balance between technology and eye health. By recognising the signs of digital eye strain and adopting healthy habits, you can mitigate the adverse effects of excessive screen time. Prioritising regular eye examinations with home visiting opticians ensures personalised care and early detection of any eye-related issues. Remember, your eyes deserve attention and care in this digital era, so make conscious choices to protect them and maintain optimal eye health.

If you are using a screen for multiple hours a day – particularly if you work in an office – you will benefit from a regular eye test conducted by a trusted and qualified optometrist team like Opticall Eyecare. We offer home visiting appointments to all who qualify, and our friendly team will help you keep your eyes healthy, whilst providing tips and tricks to support a healthy lifestyle.