How many hours a day do you spend in front of a computer? The average American spends nearly half their waking hours looking at screens. That’s almost seven hours a day (7,956 days in your entire lifetime).
Every year, this number increases as we become more reliant on our computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Unfortunately, the blue light from your favorite devices can strain your eyes. Blue light is a low wavelength, high energy light that can damage your eyes over time. Though blue light can improve cognitive function and your mood, it can also cause health conditions like computer vision syndrome or retinal cell damage.
It’s impossible to avoid technology entirely. Instead, here are a few ways you can protect your eyes from blue light! Keep reading to learn how to avoid eye strain from your favorite devices.
Start Using Computer Glasses
Yellow-tinted glasses can block harmful blue light rays while you’re working on your computer or staring at your phone. By wearing computer glasses, you can minimize the amount of digital eye strain you experience each day.
You can find blue light filter glasses online. You might consider speaking with your eye doctor about prescription glasses, too. If you already wear glasses, your eye doctor can upgrade your prescription to ensure the lenses block blue light.
Make sure to wear your glasses each time you work on a device. Wearing your glasses regularly can help you reduce your exposure to blue light and the associated eye strain.
You might want to look into computer glasses that offer anti-reflective lenses, too. In addition to the yellow tint, anti-reflective lenses can add an extra layer of protection. These glasses will shield blue light reflections from both sides of your lens.
Improve Your Macular Pigment
The main tissue in your eyes that absorbs blue light is called the macular pigment. Located in the center of your eye (the macula), the macular pigment is a thin layer of yellow tissue. It’s composed of three carotenoids.
Carotenoids are pigments found in algae, plants, and photosynthetic bacteria. The pigments produce red, orange, and yellow colors found in many of the foods you eat. The carotenoids in your eyes, however, act as an antioxidant.
There are over 600 different types of carotenoids, many of which can convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for your overall health and growth.
The tree main carotenoids in your macular pigment include meso-zeaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein. You can strengthen these carotenoids to protect your eyes from blue light damage with supplementation.
Carotenoids in Your Diet
There are also foods you can eat to improve your body’s carotenoid production, too. These include:
- Bell peppers
Carotenoids are best absorbed with fat. Cooking vegetables that contain carotenoids can increase the strength of the nutrients as they enter your bloodstream as well.
Xanthophyll carotenoids are also associated with eye health. Both lutein and zeaxanthin fall under xanthophyll. For foods that are rich in xanthophyll, try pumpkin, avocado, and egg yolks.
Improving your carotenoid production can help your body absorb blue light. According to this study, consuming six milligrams of lutein in your diet each day can decrease your risk of macular degeneration by 43%.
Use a Filter
You can also limit your eye exposure to digital blue light by adding a blue light screen filter to your devices. These filters are inexpensive and easy to apply to your computer screens or phones.
Adding a filter to your favorite devices will allow the filter to absorb the blue light before it reaches your eyes. As a result, you can reduce your daily exposure and avoid straining your eyes.
Looking for a blue light filter mac users? Use this guide to learn how to use Night Mode for Mac. Night Mode works like a blue light filter to reduce the strain on your eyes.
Night Mode can control how much light emits from your screen. By adjusting the amount of blue light that’s released, you can reduce the strain on your eyes.
Consider Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
If you’re worried about developing an eye problem (or you have a family history of muscular degeneration), you might want to consider IOLs. Intraocular lenses are small, artificial lenses implanted to treat conditions like myopia and cataracts.
Currently, there’s some controversy about whether or not IOLs can offer blue light protection. Researchers have concluded that these lenses can reduce photo stress recovery time. They can also reduce discomfort and glares while improving visual performance.
Some studies have shown the lenses might protect eyes from blue light retinal damage. They might also slow the progression of macular degeneration.
However, more research is necessary to determine the full range of benefits IOLs might offer in relation to blue light protection.
Take a Break
If you’re spending half your waking hours staring at a screen, remind yourself to take a break.
Otherwise, focusing fatigue can make your eye strain worse. Instead of staring at a screen all day, take a break every 20 minutes. Try to focus on an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
You can also use blinking exercises to reduce your eye strain. Blinking regularly can prevent your eyes from drying out. It can also reduce irritation.
Staring at a screen for too long might cause you to blink less often. Your eyes are more likely to dry out as a result.
If your eyes are still feeling dry or irritated, keep them hydrated by using artificial tears. You can purchase these tears over-the-counter to relieve your eye strain.
You might want to use artificial tears throughout the day (whether or not your eyes feel dry). That way, you can avoid eye strain and blue light damage before it sets in.
Protect Your Eyes: Ways to Avoid Blue Light Damage
A productive day of working on your computer could cause more harm than good. To protect your eyes and avoid blue light damage, give these six tips a try. Don’t forget to take a break and keep those eyes hydrated!
With these tips, you can remain productive and avoid the lasting effects of eye strain.
Looking for more ways to improve your overall well-being? Explore the Health and Wellness section of the blog today.