If you are like many Canadians, computer, tablet and smartphone have become part of your daily routine. Most of the displays of these devices are powered by LED (light-emitting diode) lights which emit high energy visible blue light. Recent researches have shown that blue light can cause damage to retinal cells which may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Since ARMD is an irreversible eye disease that can lead to vision loss, it is important to protect your eyes from blue light like you would with ultraviolet (UV) light.

With the technology that we have, it would be difficult to stay away from our electronic devices. We can, however, use precautions such as adding a blue blocker to the lenses on our glasses to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches our eyes.

In addition to blue light exposure, computer eyestrain is also a problem associated with increased screen time. There are things that we must pay attention to avoid fatigue and eye strain while using computer:

  • Make sure you have proper glasses for computer use as recommended by your eye doctor
  • Avoid reflection off your glasses by having anti-reflective or anti-glare coating on your glasses
  • Avoid reflection off your computer screen. It should be positioned perpendicular from the light source
  • Turn down the brightness of the computer screen
  • Room lighting should be the same brightness as your computer screen
  • Frequent breaks are important. The 20-20-20 rule is a good simple rule to follow: every 20 minutes of computer work, take a 20 seconds break by looking at something far away at about 20 feet
  • Computer screen should be about arms’ length away and positioned so that your eyes are at the same level as the top of the screen with your arms at right angles. This will reduce neck, wrist and eyestrain.

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