Why too much screen time is bad for your eyes
Getting headaches or dry eyes from staring at your screen? Follow these expert tips to beat digital eye strain.
Irritated eyes, blurred vision and difficulty focusing are telltale signs your screen time might be on the blink.
Whether you’re using a computer for work or settling into a Netflix session for play, your daily dose of screen time could be digitally draining the health of your eyes.
When our eyes are glued to the screen, be it the television, computer, smartphone or e-reader, we blink less, which dries out and puts strain on the eyes. This is known as digital eye strain.
While this does not cause permanent damage, it can lead to significant discomfort because eyes aren’t meant to be fixed on a single object for long periods. You may experience sensitivity to light, eye fatigue, difficulty reading small print and even neck or shoulder pain after staring at your screen.
New research by Specsavers shows nine out of 10 people experience at least one symptom of digital eye strain while at work. The study found that four in 10 Australian office workers have difficulty focusing; sore, tired, burning or itchy eyes; watery or dry eyes; or have felt like they couldn’t keep their eyes open at their desks.
Add after-hours screen time thanks to Zoom catch-ups, Kindle reading or Instagram scrolling and it’s not uncommon for adults to rack up 10 or more hours of screen time a day. That’s a marathon amount of time for your eye muscles to stay engaged. Although there are no official guidelines for safe daily screen time for adults, experts including Specsavers optometrist Greeshma Patel agree that regular breaks are vital to protect eyes.
But there’s no need to cancel your next FaceTime chat or switch to airplane mode just yet. Greeshma says there are several simple things we can do to combat the effects of digital eye strain and keep using our screens.