Computer Use Puts 95% Of Americans At Risk Of Eye Problems

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Computer Use Puts 95% Of Americans At Risk Of Eye Problems

The viewing of computer screens over an extended period of time is a fact of life for many Americans, but it can cause eye problems.

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Dry, irritated, tired eyes and head, neck and back pain are symptoms of a uniquely modern malaise, dubbed “digital eye strain.” The Vision Council released a report on 7 January which claimed that almost 95% of Americans are at risk, and over 60% suffer from it.

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Eye strain from computer usage: A widespread problem

The root of these problems is the blue light emitted by the computer screens which are ubiquitous in our daily lives, and issues can arise in just over two hours of continue screen time. The Vision Council survey found that around 30% of adults spend 9 hours a day staring at screens, 60% spend more than 5 hours and a whopping 95% subject their eyes to blue light from computer screens for more than 2 hours a day.

Even more worryingly, around 25% of children spend over 3 hours a day looking at screens, and they may be at higher risk of eye damage.

The dangers of blue light

Blue light is used to make screens visible even when in brightly lit areas, but the long-term effects of exposure have not been fully studied. However it is know that blue light penetrates deep into the retina, which eventually causes damage and vision problems.

Other research has indicated that long-term absorption of large amounts of blue light can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.

So what can those of us that rely on computer screens for work do to prevent damage? The Vision Council recommends that people remember to blink in order to prevent the eyes from drying out, as well increasing the size of text when necessary to prevent squinting and straining of the eyes and neck.

Another important rule is that for each 20 minutes of work, you should spend 20 seconds looking at an object 20 feet away in order to exercise the muscles which move your eyes.

If at all possible you should attempt to limit your exposure to blue light by undertaking some tasks on paper, using anti-glare filters, computer glasses or one of various apps which claim to block blue light.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com</i>
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting! I just become interested in the
    link between the computer use and vision problem. The blue light emitted from
    these digital devices like computer, smartphone, TV, even LED lights can truly
    cause eye problem and wreck our sleep. This is TRUE and CRUEL. Also appreciate
    your suggestions about the filtering apps and computer glasses. Just share these
    amazing free blue light filter apps with you guys:

    If needed, you can purchase a pair of blue light blocking glasses which can basically block more than 50% of blue light.

  2. Great article. I recently tried a SleepShield screen protector on my iPad and so far so good. Its supposed to block the blue light that keeps us up at night. Lately I am
    waking up feeling more refreshed after using my iPad late into the night. So it
    could be helping me a lot.

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