Judging by the fact that you’re reading this article on your smartphone, laptop, monitor, or tablet, it would probably be safe to say that you spend a whole lot of time looking at a screen. As if your pre-pandemic device usage wasn’t already alarming, the Coronavirus has probably doubled or tripled your screen time.
And we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your digital dependence is hurting your eyes.
Why COVID-19 Isn’t the Only Health Problem to Worry About
Ever since strict lockdowns were imposed by the government all across the UK, people of all ages have been forced to spend more time at home than ever before. Unfortunately, the fact that workers and students have been forced to adapt to remote set-ups means that they’re looking at their screen a lot more.
According to a survey conducted by Ipsos and the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition, researchers found that 44 per cent of US children are using electronic devices for over four hours a day. This is incredibly alarming because it is more than double the average rate before the pandemic. These numbers apply to adults as well, as people of any age have become much more dependent on gadgets for work and leisure.
Why More Screen Time Makes for Higher Risks to Our Eyes
Extended screen time is considered by vision experts as one of the biggest threats to eyes because several aspects of screens force our eyes to work harder than they should or can. The truth about human vision is that our eyes aren’t built to read on screens.
Compared to reading or studying a printed page, looking at a screen is quite taxing on the eyes because of various factors such as viewing angles and screen glare—things that the eyes aren’t built to handle. Over weeks, months, and years, extended screen time will lead to eye problems because of the extensive close-up work that online school or remote working requires!
The Biggest Eyesight Problem
While the extended screen exposure that lockdowns impose on people leave them prone to various difficulties with their eyesight, the biggest problem to date is myopia.
In a January study of more than 120,000 children in China, findings uncovered that the rate of myopia (nearsightedness, or trouble seeing things at a distance) among children ages six to eight rose significantly. The troubling increase came about during a home confinement period when schools closed from January through May due to COVID-19. The study showed results in the rate of myopia following lockdown being 21.5 per cent—15.8 per cent more than the all-time-high pre-pandemic.
Unfortunately, this same development also applies to Brits young and old alike, to the point where many are coming forwards to vision experts—such as Vision & Eyes for help.
The big trouble with myopia (or its cousin, farsightedness) is that it can contribute to another eye problem directly related to screen time: digital eye strain. Also known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, this condition is marked by blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain—all issues that come about as the time you spend reading on a screen increases.
The Right Solutions to Eye Problems
If you’re forced to work or study by looking at a screen for hours at a time, then you must take the necessary measures to protect your eyes as best as possible.
For one, using the 20-20-20 rule (looking at least 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds every 20 minutes spent on the screen) is vital in preserving your eyesight amid continuous device use. Through this method, you can significantly improve your vision and protect it for better eye health in the long run!
Apart from giving your eyes a break when needed, you can start protecting your eyes despite continuous screen usage by having them checked by a professional. With the help of a routine visit to your local ophthalmologist quarterly or semi-annually (and stocking up on Vision & Eyes products), you’ll be sure that your gift of sight will remain in good shape for years to come!
While there are many different things to worry about in the current COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest threats to your health apart from the virus itself is extended screen time. Through the help of the key pointers mentioned above, you can take steps to ensure that you don’t end up jeopardising your sense of sight!
Vision & Eyes provides the best supplements for eye health that anyone can use to care for their vision when they over-expose their eyes to any screen. Check out our online store today!