Eye fatigue is a common occupational hazard resulting from prolonged use of digital devices including smartphones, computers and tablets. It is estimated that we spend 11 hours every day in front of some kind of digital device and the effect on visual health is a growing concern. High-energy blue light, that part of the visible spectrum of light emitted in high amounts from digital devices, is a culprit that contributes to eye fatigue. So prevalent is digital eye strain that the American Optometric Association has named this new phenomenon “computer vision syndrome” and it effects 90% of the people who spend three hours or more per day at a computer.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to minimize eye fatigue and the impact of high-energy blue light:
1. Give Your Eyes a Rest
Closing your eyes for 20 seconds allows the muscles of the eye that are responsible for focusing, to relax. Alternatively, follow the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. Doing so can help alleviate the symptoms associated with computer vision fatigue including blurry vision, eye strain and fatigue.
2. Optimize your viewing space
The use of digital devices is visually demanding and even if you can’t unplug from your “digital lifestyle,” there are several actions you can take to mitigate eye fatigue.
· Provide proper lighting to reduce glare and extreme contrast
· Keep your distance. Maintaining a viewing distance of 20 to 28 inches from the monitor is optimal.
· Install anti-glare devices to further reduce the amount of light coming from screens
· Blink and then blink some more. Making a conscious effort to blink frequently helps keep the eyes moist and properly lubricated to support visual function
· Get your eyes checked regularly. Uncorrected vision can be an additional source of eye discomfort
3. Support visual health from the inside
Lutein and the zeaxanthin isomers are known as the “macular pigments” and support eye health by acting as powerful antioxidants and filtering high-energy blue light. They are the only carotenoids that preferentially accumulate in the macula where most oxidative stress from high-energy blue light occurs. Lutemax 2020 is lutein with enhanced levels of zeaxanthin and helps protect the eyes against harmful high-energy blue light to support visual health in the digital age.
As our use of digital devices grows, so too does the need to protect the eyes against the effects of prolonged exposure to high-energy blue light and reduce computer vision syndrome. Following these simple steps and getting sufficient amounts of the macular carotenoids from a premium ingredient like Lutemax 2020 may help support healthy vision for a lifetime.
Monday’s Great American Eclipse has magnified the important—and often times overlooked—topic of sunlight exposure on vision health. The cardinal rule for eclipse watching is, of course, do not look directly at the eclipse with naked eyes. The reason for this directive is called solar retinopathy. This is a condition that occurs when the sun’s intense light floods the retina and causes irreparable damage. However, an eclipse is not the only time during which the sun can damage the eye. Although the sun is most commonly associated with UVA and UVB radiation, within the spectrum of visible light emitted from the sun hides harmful high-energy blue light.
Exposure to digital screens and artificial light sources may be disrupting sleep patterns and affecting health.