Mobile devices play a central role in people’s lives today, but did you know they can have a worrying impact on our eyesight? In this blog, Dr Gurjeet Singh Jutley advises on how to protect your eyes If you are purchasing new mobile tech for Christmas.

Are you suffering from dry eye?

It’s reported that over 83% of Americans use digital devices for over two hours a day, and it’s likely that the figure isn’t much different on British shores. Over half of these are said to use two digital devices at the same time. If you use digital devices for more than two hours during each session, you may well start to experience discomfort, particularly where the eyes are concerned. When we stare at the screens built into our devices, we blink less than we normally would. This can result in dry eyes which don’t produce the moisture that they need to protect the surface of the eye. The eye’s surfaces can become irritated when we spend a long time using our devices.

Computer vision syndrome and blue lights

Your digital devices can also leave you vulnerable to computer vision syndrome, symptoms of which can include dry eyes, eye strain, headaches and blurred vision as well as pain in the necks and shoulders. Bright screens can also give us digital eye strain. The blue lights emitted from your screen may or may not cause problems with vision – a lot of research still needs to be done in this area – but they can stop the release of melatonin, which regulates sleep.

When to take a break

Those that work with or use screens for an extended period of time are advised to use special eyewear with anti-reflective and blue light-filtering features to reduce eye strain. It’s also wise to keep your screens some distance away from your face – around the distance of the average arm. You can also increase the text size to make it easier to read, adjust the lighting on your device to avoid causing irritation and take regular breaks around every 20 minutes or so. You are advised to move around 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds to rest the eyes and avoid fatigue and strain.

At Oxford Eye Health, we specialise in helping patients maintain and improve the quality of their eyesight. Contact us today to learn more about the treatments that we offer.