Protect your eyes from digital overuse

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Opticians are advising people on how to protect their eyes from the fast moving digital world which most people are exposed to nowadays with some handy top tips.

Following recent research which shows the average person spends eight hours and 45 minutes a day on electronic devices, Specsavers in Milngavie is letting people know how to protect their eyesight against potential damage.

The new data from Ofcom has revealed that 15 million internet users have taken a ‘digital detox’ in a bid to strike a better life/technology balance.

Caroline Kinsey, store director at Specsavers in Milngavie said: “Over-exposure to a wide range of digital devices – particularly those that are used in close proximity to the face like computer screens, tablets or smart phones – can have a number of damaging effects on the overall health of your eyes.

“Headaches, an inability to focus properly, sensitivity to light, very watery or very dry eyes and blurred vision are all common symptoms – and if left untreated, can develop into more serious, long-term conditions. It’s really important to take the necessary steps to avoid straining the eyes when using digital technology – and it doesn’t necessarily mean going cold turkey either. There’s lots of small, simple changes you can make on a daily basis that will help give your eyes the break they need.”

Top tips include: Rest your eyes - Regularly look away from your computer screen and focus on distant objects. For example, take a minute to stare out of the window. Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye, which in turn reduces eye fatigue; Take regular screen breaks - It is important to take a step away from your computer screen now and then. For example, take a break from your computer by getting up to make a drink; Use adequate lighting - Eye strain is often caused by excessive sunlight coming in through the window or by bright room lighting. Use curtains or blinds to reduce the brightness of the sun, and try and avoid sitting under big overhead fluorescent lights; Reduce glare - Glare reflected from your computer screen, can cause eye strain. An anti-glare screen attached to your monitor can help and if you wear glasses, try an anti-glare coating on your lenses; Adjust your monitor’s settings - Adjusting your computer’s display settings can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Make sure the brightness is the same as the surroundings and adjust the text size and contrast so that it is comfortable to read. Black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort; Have an eye test - Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision as well as offering a broader health assessment. If you use Visual Display Units for the majority of the working day, The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 stipulates your employer is required to pay for regular sight tests.