Everywhere you turn, someone is looking at a smartphone, regardless of their age. It seems that smartphones have become an extension of who we are as humans. These handheld devices keep us tuned in indefinitely and whether we need directions, a recipe, or have to make a call, smartphones can do it all.
Growing up, parents often expressed to their children not to watch TV for too long or too close as it can wreck your eyes. But today, it seems more of us are staring at a smartphone, so maybe that longtime warning needs to reflect the change of times?
It does bring up some concern that your eyes could become damaged as a result of prolonged screen time. Especially because it seems like in all fields and throughout the day, there are a variety of screens we look at. All that screen time is bound to have some effect on our vision.
More and more people complain of physical symptoms for the eyes related to screen time. For example, eye pain, tiredness, temporary blurry vision – all of this can result from prolonged screen time. But how are screens are affecting our eyes?
For starters, when staring at a screen, you’re doing just that – staring. We don’t blink nearly as often when we’re looking at a screen, which causes the eyes to become dry and tired. One study actually found that children who looked at screens often were more likely to suffer from dry eyes than those with less screen time.
Digital eye strain is another condition that occurs after viewing a screen for at least two hours. Your ability to focus becomes limited after that and you may also experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and blurry vision.
Additionally, screens omit what is known as blue light, which can shine through the retina and may, over time, lead to damage, but additional research is needed on this. One thing is for sure –exposure to blue light disrupts one’s sleep.
As you can see, there is mounting evidence that prolonged screen time is hazardous to your vision, but the good news is that many of these effects are temporary. As long as you’re taking the necessary steps to protect your eyes and limiting your screen time, you can reduce your risk of these smartphone-related eye symptoms.
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