Are Computers Ruining Your Eyes?

How many hours do you spend each day on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and/or watching TV?  If you’re like the typical baby boomer or older adult, it’s probably more than you think, and these activities are wreaking havoc on your health.  Today I just want to focus on the effect screen use is having on your eyes.

Hours on the computer are bad for your eyes!

According to AARP, more than nine in ten adults 50+ own a computer or laptop, seven in ten own a smartphone, and over four in ten own a tablet. And while I couldn’t find any information specific to screen use and older adults, American adults spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of  these screens, as well as TVs.

In a recent survey, 16% of adults report being concerned about the amount of time spent looking at “screens” in an average day.  That jumps to 25% among contact lens wearers.  Here are some of the negative symptoms they’re experiencing:

  • 58% feel their eyes are “tired”
  • 17% have “dry” eyes
  • 16% report blurry vision
  • 9% are concerned about “strained” eyes

And unfortunately, as we age, the natural lenses in our eyes become less flexible, and computer work becomes even more of a problem.

Here are some easy ways to save your eyes from “computer stare:”

1)  Blink often to keep your eyes moist.  Research shows that we blink less frequently when using a computer.  Blinking bathes and soothes dry-feeling eyes, as do eye drops.

2)  Obey the 20 x 20 x 20 x 20 rule:

Keep your eyes at least 20 inches from your computer screen.

Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes, and look 20 feet away.

3)  Cut the glare, which can add to eye strain.  Dim overhead lights or buy a desk lamp with a moveable shade that casts light evenly over your desk. Move your computer away from bright light that enters your workspace through a window.  You can also add a glare filter to your monitor.

4)  Adjust the contrast, font, and brightness to best meet your needs.

For more information to stay healthy as you age, give me a call.  We can see if any of my programs or products work for you!

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