How to Protect Your Eyesight

Another long day at work, staring at budgets and graphs on the screen for what amounts to nearly eight hours, followed up by staring at your smartphone for hours at home. You don't mean to, but it is just how a lot of us function every day. But as the night wears on and you start to feel a headache or your eyes feel dry, you begin to wonder just how much screen time is too much. What damage can be accumulating day after day? You resolve to spend less time with your eyes aimed at these endless glaring displays. But soon enough you find yourself in bed, tablet on, reading a book. That's more screen time and it's going to start over again the next day.

You need blue light from the sun, not from your screen

Doctors and specialists have known for years that the modern habit of staring at digital screens isn't great for the longevity of our sensitive eyes. Now, we also know that the blue light emitted from screens, while not as strong as the ultraviolet light we get from the sun, can be just as damaging. This is because we focus on screens for so long each day that this small amount adds up to a major impact.

Of course, this blue light isn't all bad, there is a natural benefit we receive. Blue light helps our body's natural rhythms. Our brains take the cue from the sun and the blue light it emits to let us know when it is time to be alert and awake. Without so much blue light then it must be time to slow down and get ready for sleep. That is when our body releases melatonin, the hormone that functions to balance our wake/sleep cycle. Staring at the screen when we are in bed or getting ready for sleep upsets this natural balance.

Promoting better eye health with the 20-20-20 rule

Some have come to label all this eye stress and strain by the newer condition dubbed Computer Vision Syndrome, due to the amount of time we spend staring at computer screens in our work lives and at home on our own devices. People who suffer from this have a variety of complaints, such as dizziness, blurry or double vision, red or dry eyes, and even soreness in their neck or back. Our bodies and eyes didn't evolve for this lifestyle of sitting still, staring straight ahead, eyeing a glowing screen for hours on end. Solutions are needed for those with these symptoms, who can just turn off the screen.

Thankfully, there are options to help relieve some of this stress. One way is by implementing a method designed by Californian optometrist Jeffrey Anshel. This simple strategy is so effective that it's promoted by the American Optometric Association. It's called the 20-20-20 Rule. Basically, it is a way to give ourselves a break from the time spent in one situation and it's simple. Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. But this is not just the only way to prevent eye fatigue.

Wear computer glasses for even more health benefits

We are very much accustomed to going to the eye doctor and getting a prescription for glasses to help with our eyesight. Or picking up a cool pair of shades to protect our eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Glasses can be more than just a fashionable accessory, they can also promote better eye health.

So, why not have prescription glasses with the filtering effects of sunglasses, but made for the computer screen instead of the sun? Computer glasses are the answer here, and have been growing in popularity and in use by those who suffer the strained eyes, double vision and headaches and need a way to proactively combat them.

How are computer glasses different from the rest?

Computer glasses work in a couple of ways. First, they have an anti-reflective coating that bounces some of the display light coming at you, aiding to eliminate some of the rays your eyes have to deal with. Next, they also have a tint, filtering the harsh, bright light coming off the computer. This is how our blue cut digital lenses work, too.

A benefit of reducing this glare and increasing the contrast is that computer glasses allow your eyes to focus on the screen for a longer period with less discomfort. You can see them as just another tool in the box, an item you use like the WiFi that keeps you connected or the caffeine that keeps you energized.

You can also use computer glasses at bedtime to try and decrease the amount of blue light your eyes take in, minimizing the disruption to your body's natural sleep preparation and melatonin production.

With or without a prescription, computer glasses can help everyone

If you don't have an eyewear prescription, you can just shop for and purchase an affordable pair of computer glasses for your own use. If you do use doctor-prescribed lenses, you would have to see your eye doctor to get a new prescription with the filtering added on to your lenses. Then, you would wear them as normal and reap the benefits daily.

Don't forget your 20 second breaks

It is a lot to think about. But as we age, our eyes are again right along with us. We want them to be healthy and with us for the long haul. Our cornea, lens and retinas aren't up for the stress we put on them by adding computer and phone screens for hours at a time every day. If we keep taking them for granted, they will be more than likely to suffer ill effects, like cataracts or macular degeneration.

Taking preventive measures now can help us in the long run. A relatively simple step like adding computer glasses to our work life and at home habits can go a long way to aiding our eyes and giving them the strength and fortitude to go into our older years healthier and functioning as well as possible.

So, take a break. Rest your eyes, look outside at the trees and the birds. Stretch your legs and stretch your neck. Keep your body moving and healthy and do the same for your eyes. Look in to the benefits that you can reap from computer glasses. Your eyes and future self will thank you.