Health Watch: Keeping your vision sharp in a digital world
Digital communication has become an integral part of daily life. Smartphones and tablets are pocket-sized personal assistants with appointment reminders, news and a means of keeping in touch with family and friends. Living multi-screen lives may aide productivity, but eye health professionals are increasingly worried about the consequences of “digital vision.”
There are several small steps all digital users can take to make their devices healthier for their eyes:
*Make sure the settings are adequate – increase screen font size and improve the contrast. Always use good lighting but avoid glare on small screens.
*Exercise your eyes just as you exercise your body. Every few minutes, look up from the screen and focus on something in the distance. This exercise helps prevent eye strain and uses more of your ocular muscles. And don’t forget to take breaks occasionally.
*Get outside. Sunshine can be the antidote to digital vision, according to some research. While the sun’s role isn’t completely understood, an Australian study showed that children who spent more time outside playing in natural light had a lower rate of myopia. In China, schools are experimenting with classrooms made of transparent materials to help stem the nation’s epidemic of shortsightedness in young people.
*Regardless of your age or how many digital devices you have, taking care of your eyes helps prevent vision problems and protects your overall eye health. Learn more at visionimpactinstitute.org.