MINNEAPOLIS – With smartphones, laptops and tablets more and more part of our daily lives, it’s causing what some call Digital Eye Strain.
Symptoms include dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches as well as neck, back and shoulder pain.
According to a survey of more than 10,000 people, this condition is much worse for those who multitask using two or more devices at the same time. Outside of the 10,000 surveyed, doctors say it’s a problem everyone has, but no one is willing to admit.
“We were raised to not sit so close to the TV screen and now we are holding them 16 inches from our face,” said Dr. Y. Ralph Chu with the Chu Vision Institute.
Doctor Chu says to follow a 20-20-20 rule, which is every 20 minutes take a break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away. Also, blink more and use a screen filter to block light.
Doctor Chu says long term damage, like macular degeneration, is possible.
“We’ve learned that macro degeneration can cause central blindness in patients and so minimizing this risk from blue light is important,” said Dr. Chu.
Evening exposure to blue light wavelengths, important for color perception and being alert during the day, has also been shown to disrupt the melatonin that regulates circadian rhythms, making it hard to sleep.