March is National Save Your Vision Month. This year, the American Optometric Association is promoting awareness around digital eyestrain and the importance of receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams from an optometrist.
The American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2017 campaign focuses specifically on blue light's impact on overall health. According to the AOA, the average American spends seven hours per day using digital devices. Overexposure to blue light due to smartphones, tablets and other technology use for extended periods of time can cause vision damage, sleep problems and more.
AOA revealed recently that 88 percent of Americans know that digital devices can negatively affect their vision, but the average American still spends seven or more hours per day looking at their screens. This overexposure to blue light – high-energy visible light emitted from digital devices – can lead to digital eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, among other things.
Research from the AOA also indicates that the average millennial spends nine hours per day on devices such as smartphones, tablets, LED monitors and flat-screen TVs which also emit blue light.
Digital devices are an important part of everyday life, and encourages patients to learn about blue light and its impact on vision and health during Save Your Vision Month 2017 in March. The following tips explore ways people can protect their eyes and monitor digital screen usage while at home or work:
Power down before you turn in: Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.
Unplug with the AOA 20-20-20 rule: When you are using any device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
Step back: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.
Adjust your device to fit your needs: The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to decrease the amount of blue light reflected from the screen.
Schedule an appointment: Visit an optometrist by going to HYPERLINK "http://www.aoa.org/doctor-locator-search?sso=y"AOA.org to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam to detect and address vision problems.
This year, AOA is challenging everyone to prioritize not only eye health, but overall health and well-being, and encourages Americans to limit exposure to blue light. It’s as easy as looking away from your screen every 20 minutes and powering down an hour before bed.
If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above due to prolonged exposure to blue light, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hart’s Primary Eye Care today.
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