I have a wonderful life working in a cubicle in front of a computer screen. I get off work and spend the rest of the day on a tablet of a brand dependent on my consumer loyalty. I wake up the next day with bloodshot eyes and people wonder if I’ve done something illegal.
You’re reading this article on a screen and you probably notice that we spend more and more time on our devices. The amount of time we spend in front of a screen is only eclipsed by the amount of time spent by someone 10 years younger!
What happens when you stare at a screen 8 hours a day?
We often don’t realize when our eyes tire. Your eye doctor may give you advice, but let’s be honest — most of us don’t care until our eyes become as dry as the Sahara Desert. So here’s a quick explanation of what happens:
During the day, we see a lot of blue and cooler colors. Bright blue light tells the brain: “it’s daytime, wake up.” As the night approaches, we see warmer colors which signals to the brain: “time to wind down.”
Our screens are designed to emit blue light. Cooler colors make our eyes focus more but blink less. After staring at the screen for too long, the eyes may become dry, blurry, or bloodshot despite causing no pain.
I want to share some practical solutions for those of us who cannot reduce screen time due to jobs or social media addiction:
Solution 1: Night Mode
Most devices have ways to enable a “night mode” that filters screen colors.
- For Apple devices, you can enable Night Shift by going to System Preferences > Displays > Night Shift
- For Android, install an app like Twilight
- For newer Windows computers, you can enable Night Light in Settings > System > Display
- For other devices, install a program called f.lux
With these options, you can also customize the intensity of the warm colors as well as schedule times in the day to enable night mode.
Solution 2: Be like Bono
Get a pair of glasses with amber or yellow tint. The tint will filter out the blue light from a computer screen.
I’ve been using eyewear with yellow tint for years to reduce eye fatigue. These lenses also block out some of the glare while outdoors.
Younger people may not feel much eye strain, but that doesn’t change the fact that your eyes are affected. I bought a pair of tinted glasses for my mother and she notices much less eye strain.
In a world of technology, our eyes are the tools of the trade in many things that we do. I’ve done the research for you, so give it a go and let me know what you think!