Stop for a moment and think: How many digital screens do you use in a typical day? How many hours each day do you spend staring at your smartphone, tablet, computer, and TV screens?
If you’re like most Canadians, the majority of your day is spent locking eyes with your digital devices. Unfortunately, all that screen time could be slowly and quietly wreaking havoc on your eyes.
Digital screens on devices like your iPad, laptop, and smartphone emit Artificial Blue Light, a high-energy type of light known to contribute to serious eye fatigue, stress, and strain, as well as long-term degenerative retinal diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. Blue Light can also negatively affect your sleep by disrupting your circadian rhythms.
If you’re finding yourself at the end of each day with dry eyes, sore eyes, tired eyes, blurry vision, and headaches, it’s a good bet that you’re getting too much exposure to Artificial Blue Light.
What’s the solution?
In this day and age, minimizing your screen time isn’t always a viable option. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your eyes.
Apps and software
You can start by limiting the levels Blue Light emitted from your laptop or computer screen with freeware, such as f.lux, which is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you have an updated iOS device, you can enable the Night Shift feature to achieve the same effect on your iPad or iPhone. If you’re an Android user, try Twilight.
Screen protector filters
Physical, screen protector Blue Light filters, such as Ocushield and RetinaShield, are also available for most devices. The major benefit of these is that they’re always on, blocking Blue Light whether a particular app or feature is running or not.
Finally you can opt for a pair of computer glasses. Originally pioneered for gamers, computer glasses come in a variety of styles and lens types. Look for a pair that specifically blocks Blue Light, rather than computer glasses that are merely tinted or offer simple UV protection. Popular online options include Gunnar Optics and EyeBuyDirect.