Staying at home has become less of a luxury and more of a requirement in these trying times. And with the limited things to do at home and opportunities online, more and more people have turned to the internet and gadgets as their communication and entertainment source. While going digital keeps people safe from the pandemic, it makes people more susceptible to digital eye strain, which can affect one’s vision.
Effects of Digital Strain
- Dry Eyes – Staring for too long at a screen without blinking can dry out the eyes faster than not using a gadget at all. When working with a phone or desktop, your blink rate slows down, letting tears evaporate from your eyes without replenishing them. This can also lead to some irritation.
- Eye Soreness – When you overwork your eyes, you will start to feel discomfort and exhaustion. Eye soreness can also cause fatigue and mild recurring headaches.
- Neck Problems – When your eyes get tired, other parts of the body, such as the neck, try to keep the body working by moving around. Neck cracking is a bad habit that many people do, which can lead to neck problems.
- Sleeplessness – Too much gadget use can overstimulate your brain and make falling asleep a lot harder than it should be. Not getting enough sleep can affect your eyes’ performance the following day.
If you continue using gadgets for long periods of time, this may speed up your vision’s deterioration, causing long-term sight issues that will inconvenience you further down the line.
This does not mean that people should give up technology altogether. In this time, it has become the most powerful tool that keeps people connected and informed. You can find a balance to protect your vision and still have a healthy use of gadgets. Here are some tips that will help you get through this new era of technology.
5 Tips to Help Ease Digital Strain for Adults in 2021
- Set priorities for Gadget Use
Knowing what you’re using your gadgets for can help you find out when you need them most and when you can live without them.
If you are a remote worker, the priority is work and communication. Since most tasks now need technology to work, it is best to use some protection like anti-radiation glasses if you have a pair.
Chats with friends outside of work comes second. It is important to stay in touch with loved ones to keep morale up and socialize.
Leisure may come as a last priority. It is fun and convenient to play a movie on the television to keep yourself entertained, which is more of a want than a need. However, you certainly can indulge from time to time.
- Pursue other Leisure Activities
To pass the time, you’re going to need substitute activities to keep you occupied. Try adopting new habits like walking around the neighborhood, gardening in your backyard, or playing with kids, grandkids, or pets.
If you want someone to talk to, you can always visit a neighbor or friend nearby or invite limited people to your home just to chat or call them on the phone without the video.
Instead of binge-watching series, you can also try getting into podcasts where you can sit down and listen to interesting conversations or highly creative storytelling. You can also do other things like cooking or craft-like hobbies such as knitting or painting while listening to different podcast personalities.
And for a good rest for your eyes and overall mind and body, you can try taking a power nap in the afternoon, which will make you feel more energized and ready for the day. These don’t take more than thirty minutes, but they do have the ability to help you boost productivity.
- Lower Brightness Settings
Install applications that lower blue light or check for night light settings to reduce eye strain. Some phones and gadgets already come with these features, so it is best to utilize them as much as possible. Work in natural light or a well-lit part of your house to avoid having to increase the screen brightness. This saves you the cost of energy and eases eye strain.
- Take Breaks
Pull away from your screen now and then to rest your eyes. It is recommended that you do not stay more than 20 minutes staring at a screen. Take small minute breaks in between work and a long break twice in a workday. It is not healthy to stay put on your screen for hours on end. Plus, breaks always help whether you’re working remotely or not. They can increase productivity and prevent burnout.
- Gadgets down thirty minutes before bed
This gives the brain time to relax and the eyes proper rest before bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can always try reading or listening to music instead of scrolling through social media or watching a movie before bed. It also helps break the habit of looking at your phone the first thing in the morning.
Despite the surge of technology sped up by circumstances, it is still possible to live a life not solely dependent on it. Everything must be done in moderation. By maximizing the good that technology brings and limiting its use for the sake of your eyes, you can live a well-balanced lifestyle even in unusual times like this.
If you’re looking to get your eyes checked out in the state of Arizona, then you might want to visit one of the offices of the Arizona Retinal Specialists. An expert team of doctors can help you or a loved one with any of your vision concerns through proper testing. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.