There are many causes of fatigue including poor sleep, bad diet, lack of exercise, and even medical conditions. But did you know that your computer, tablet, and smartphones are also causing you to be fatigued? It’s true, and it’s becoming a growing problem as more and more of us are being exposed to long hours in front of a screen.
Dr. Jessica Lee at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai explained “Digital eye strain has become increasingly more common from hours of staring at computers and phones all day. Some research has linked too much blue light exposure – particularly at night – to insomnia because the blue-light sensitive molecules in the retina are also responsible for setting our body’s circadian rhythm. Excessive blue-light exposure can suppress the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps set our sleep-wake cycle, which can, in turn, disrupt our sleep patterns, thus exacerbating eye strain.”
Although we are exposed to more and more blue-light and screens every day, there are ways to reduce your eye strain and fatigue.
Look away: You may have heard of the 20-20-20 rule, but if not, it goes like this. For every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds (or more) at something that is 20 feet away.
Enlarge texts: Eye strain may be a result of attempting to read tiny text. Increase font size on your devices so you aren’t straining to read.
Blink, blink, blink: Sometimes when we are so engulfed in something we forget to blink, which dries out our eyes. Dry eyes make eyes feel tired, so remind yourself to blink as often as possible.
Dim screen brightness: Turning down screen brightness is another tip to reduce eye fatigue, especially at night. Staring at a bright screen at night can delay melatonin release, which means you will have a difficult time falling asleep. “Some researchers recommend limiting exposure to blue light or screen time approximately an hour before going to bed to minimize any disruptions in our sleep cycle,” added Dr. Lee.
By incorporating these tips into your daily usage of devices, you can help keep your eyes feeling less fatigued.