In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on the topic of digital screens and how they affect us. To date, a lot of research has confirmed that screens affect us in ways we hadn’t even imagined; while more research is needed to get a complete picture, the research shows that we need to be cautious with our screen use. The infographic below, created by South Texas Eye Institute, explores the ways in which screens affects not only our eyes but also our overall health and the ways in which we can minimize these effects.
As the infographic shows, screens negatively affect our health, and these negative effects increase as screen time increases. Screens can damage the retina, lead to long-term vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and also cause digital eye strain. Digital eye strain causes a myriad of symptoms, from blurred vision to headaches to neck pain and back pain. It is estimated that 91% of people between the ages of 18 and 39 suffer from the effects of digital strain and this percentage is only slightly lower for people who fall outside of these age ranges.
Currently, the average American adult spends 11 hours in front of screens. 65% of those adults reported experiencing the effects of digital eye strain. Indeed, screens are becoming integrated into nearly all aspects of our daily life and at quick rates; 73% of people in a survey use computers for research, 50.4% use computers for shopping and 48.7% use computers to find recipes. Screens are nearly inescapable.
As an opthamologist concerned with patient’s eye health, it is important to educate patients to take steps to protect eyes from the harmful effects of screen use. While we can’t avoid much of this use, it’s recommended that people practice the 20-20-20 rule after interacting with screens and that they reduce overhead lighting to minimize the glare of the computer. More protective tips will be explored in the infographic below.
Infographic Source: https://www.southtexaseyeinstitute.com/screen-time-affecting-health/