Why Excessive Screen Time Is Extremely Harmful To Your Eyesight

woman using tablet computer

Impact of Blue Light

Prolonged exposure to screens emits harmful blue light, which can penetrate deep into the eyes and cause damage to the retina. This can lead to digital eye strain, blurry vision, and even long-term vision problems. Blue light from screens has a shorter wavelength and higher energy compared to other visible light, making it more likely to scatter and cause glare, reducing contrast, and straining the eyes further. The detrimental effects of blue light exposure are not just limited to eye health but can also impact overall well-being, affecting sleep patterns and potentially leading to increased risk of eye diseases over time.

Decreased Blinking

Staring at screens reduces the frequency of blinking, which can result in dry eyes and discomfort. Blinking helps to moisten the eyes and prevent irritation, so a lack of it can exacerbate eye strain. The reduced blink rate while using screens is often unconscious, contributing to the build-up of particles in the eye and increasing the risk of eye infections. Proper blinking technique, consciously practiced during screen time, can help maintain eye moisture and reduce the chances of developing dry eye symptoms.

Eye Fatigue and Strain

The constant focus and concentration required when looking at screens can cause eye fatigue and strain. This can manifest as headaches, difficulty focusing, and sensitivity to light, making it harder to perform daily tasks comfortably. Additionally, prolonged screen time can lead to a phenomenon known as computer vision syndrome, characterized by a combination of eye and vision problems related to extended computer use. Symptoms may include eye discomfort, dryness, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain due to poor posture and repetitive movements.

Impact on Children

Children’s eyes are still developing, and excessive screen time can have a more profound impact on their vision. Studies have shown that children who spend more time on screens are at a higher risk of developing myopia (nearsightedness) at a younger age. The increased use of digital devices in educational settings and for entertainment purposes has raised concerns about the potential long-term consequences on children’s visual health. Parents and educators play a crucial role in monitoring screen time for children and promoting healthy visual habits from a young age to prevent vision-related issues.

Sleep Disruption

Exposure to screens, especially in the evenings, can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle due to the suppression of melatonin production. This can lead to poor quality sleep, which in turn can affect overall eye health and wellbeing. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. Disrupted sleep patterns not only affect physical and mental health but can also impact ocular health by reducing the eye’s ability to recover and repair from daily strain and exposure to environmental stressors.

Preventive Measures

To reduce the negative effects of excessive screen time on eye health, it is essential to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, using blue light filters on screens and adjusting brightness levels can help minimize the impact of screen exposure on the eyes. Encouraging regular breaks from screen use, incorporating outdoor activities to promote distance vision, and maintaining proper lighting conditions in screen viewing environments are also important preventive measures to safeguard eye health in the digital age.

Cassidy Perry

A certified dietician specializing in diabetes care, Cassidy has over a decade of experience working with diverse patient backgrounds. She writes health-related articles for the Scientific Origin.