Too much screen time can be a strain
SCREEN time is inevitable. Our day and age is geared to spending hours looking at screens, whether it be staring at a computer all day for work, watching TV or scrolling social media on your phone.
So much so that Lonergan Research data found Australians spend more time glued to electronic devices than they do eating, commuting, working and exercising combined.
That means more than onethird of each day – 9.4 hours – is being spent exposed to blue light emitted from computer, mobile phone and television screens, which equates to about 143 days every year.
But, according to Vision Direct in-house optometrist Jessica Chester, any more than an hour a day is considered a common cause of eye strain.
“Screens emit harmful blue UV rays, which cause damage to our lens in the eye and our retina,” she said. “The rays also affect our diurnal and nocturnal hormones, which affect sleep patterns.”
While optical glasses have recently become available with blue block lenses, you still need to be vigilant to keep your eyes in good shape.
“Every 30 minutes, you should look away from the screen and stare out a window or far into the distance for five minutes,” Ms Chester said.
“This is extremely important as the muscles of the eyes can get stuck focusing at close distances and cause Computer Fatigue Syndrome – when the eyes cannot focus into the distance any more and are extremely strained.”
If you find yourself squinting more than usual, it’s a sign it’s time to see your optometrist.
FOCUSED: We spend more than one-third of each day watching screens.