The news is full of stories about how the pandemic is putting economic and emotional strains on many of us. But what’s frequently overlooked – no pun intended – is the indirect effect the situation is putting on our eyes.
With more people spending a greater amount of time at home, the use of digital devices such as using computers for web browsing, checking social media, and making video calls, has risen significantly. As a result, digital eye strain, dry eyes, fatigue, and stress headaches related to extended screen time are more prevalent now than they were before.
Viewing digital screens for extended periods of time makes the eyes work harder, putting many people at a higher risk of developing vision-related problems. Factors such as screen or font size, glare, definition, brightness, and viewing distance or angle can all increase discomfort and exacerbate strain on the eyes and related issues.
People who spend two or more continuous hours looking at a screen are at greater risk. To help protect the eyes, doctors recommend taking proactive steps, such as positioning a computer screen at or slightly below eye level, blinking routinely to prevent dryness, taking frequent breaks to allow the eyes to focus on other things, and disengaging from our phones and computers before bedtime to let the eyes rest.
With more screen time comes the need for more regular – as well as more comprehensive – eye exams. Your optometrist can help identify existing and emerging issues and can recommend preventive and prescribe corrective measures. During your exam, the doctor can perform not only the usual eye tests but can also check the health of your eye and the eye tissue. Plus, eye exams safeguard overall health by enabling the eye doctor to detect more than 270 serious health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and some cancers.
Make sure you’re keeping your eyes healthy. A Vision Plan through ASBA plays an important part. Learn about Vision Insurance available to you.