March is Save Your Vision Month
The American Optometric Association (AOA) encourages patients to learn about blue light and its impact on vision. An American Eye-Q® survey revealed that 88 percent of Americans know that digital devices affect their vision, but the average American still spends seven or more hours per day looking at screens.
This overexposure to blue light – high-energy visible light emitted from digital devices – leads to eye strain, sleep problems, blurred vision, headaches and neck and shoulder pain, and more.
It is estimated that the average millennial spends nine hours per day on devices such as smartphones, tablets, LED monitors and flat-screen TVs, all of which emit blue light. The AOA recognizes that digital devices are an important part of everyday life and offers the following tips for protecting your eyes when using digital screens while at home or work:
- Power down before you turn in: Give your eyes a rest. Turn your digital devices off at least one hour before bed.
- Unplug with the AOA 20-20-20 rule: When you are using any device or computer, make a conscious effort every day to take a 20-second break and look away from the screen, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
- Step back: Maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device by using the zoom feature to see small print and details. The AOA recommends reducing the glare by adjusting device settings or using a glare filter to protect from blue light.
- Schedule an appointment: Visit an optometrist. Make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam through AOA.org.
Five Tips to Your Vision
Get Your Eyes Checked – This may seem like an obvious tip, but more people than you’d think skip their yearly eye exams. The first line of defense from eye-related issues is regular check-ups. Pre-existing conditions, diabetes and heart disease may require more frequent visits. Catch eye diseases and conditions early before they cause permanent damage or vision loss!
Eat Vision-enhancing Foods – Foods like spinach, melons, broccoli and salmon, high in Omega-3 fatty acids are best.
Give those Screens a Rest – Enough said!
Wear the Right Eye Protection – Wear goggles when gardening or performing outdoor home maintenance or sports. Sunglasses and brimmed hats protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and remember to never look directly at the sun.
Kick that Cigarette Habit – They are bad for your eyes and can cause cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and uveitis.
“May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most!”
– Irish Saying