Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology
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How screens affect our eyesight

Computers, tablets, laptops, smartphones… today we spend more and more time connected to these devices. Have you ever wondered how screens affect our eyesight? In this post we tell you about their effects on eye and visual health and give you some tips to prevent them.

A high exposure of the eyes to the screens of any device causes visual fatigue, which translates into a sensation of stinging, redness and dryness of the eyes. The main cause of this discomfort is the reduction in the frequency of blinking that occurs when the eyes are fixed.

Although it is still scientifically unknown how this exposure may affect us in the long term, due to lack of studies, some experts indicate that it may be harmful. Others, however, consider that it has no more detrimental effect than the sunlight to which we are usually exposed.

Visual fatigue

What has been demonstrated is that looking at a short distance, as is the case with this type of screen, causes visual fatigue. Asthenopia, the scientific name for eye fatigue, is caused by excessive and prolonged accommodative effort of the eye muscles.

At short distances, these muscles must make a greater effort to focus, which causes them to become more tired. This causes eye discomfort such as itching, gritty sensation, tearing, dryness and redness. In some cases it can even cause headaches or dizziness.

Tips to cushion the effect of screens on our eyesight

  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of the screens and dimly illuminate the room.
  • Maintain an adequate distance, at least in front of the computer. It is recommended that it be 60-70 cm and, in any case, never less than 40 cm.
  • Take breaks every 20 minutes.
  • Try to relax your eyes during breaks.
  • Blink regularly to moisten the eye.
  • Moisten the eyes with artificial tears.
  • Increase the humidity in the room with humidifiers.
  • If you wear contact lenses, opt for replacement lenses that allow you to wear a fresh, new lens every day. There are also models designed with specific materials to maintain ocular hydration, which help maintain all-day comfort and clear vision.

In short, it is not a matter of not using screens anymore. Today that is impossible in the world in which we live. What we should do is practice these recommendations to reduce the harmful effect of screens on our eye health. If you have any doubts about the health of your eyes, we advise you to consult an ophthalmologist who will analyze your case in depth.

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