In today’s digital age, we’re constantly surrounded by screens – from smartphones and tablets to computers and televisions. While technology has transformed our lives in many ways, it has also impacted our eyes, with symptoms including blurry vision, headaches and light sensitivity. It is for this reason that taking breaks from screens must be given importance, as doing so benefits not only one’s eye health but also overall well-being. Dr. Joel H. McGahen OD, the trusted optometrist in the local area, explains further.
The Detrimental Effects of Excessive Screen Use
When you stare at your screen for hours on end, you could essentially be straining your eyes. Too much exposure can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS), which includes symptoms like headache, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and back pain.
Specific Benefits of Screen Breaks on Your Eye Health
Every eye doctor recommends the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Here are the benefits of this simple practice:
- Reduced Eye Strain. Prolonged screen time can lead to eye strain, often referred to as “digital eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome.” Frequent screen breaks allow your eyes to relax, reducing discomfort and the risk of developing eye strain.
- Prevention of Dry Eyes. Staring at screens for extended periods can lead to reduced blinking, resulting in dry eyes. Taking regular breaks encourages natural blinking, which keeps your eyes moist and comfortable.
- Minimized Risk of Computer Vision Problems. Frequent screen breaks help minimize the risk of developing computer vision problems, such as myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism or presbyopia.
Broad Health Benefits of Screen Breaks
However, the benefits of regular screen breaks extend beyond eye health. When you step away from your screen, you give your mind a breather, which can result in increased focus when you return to your task. It’s also an opportunity to correct your posture, stretch a little and move around. Taking screen breaks, indeed, can offset some dangers of prolonged sitting, like heart disease and obesity.
Tips on Incorporating Screen Breaks
Including screen breaks in your daily routine can be a challenge at first, but there are ways you can do so easily in no time. You can use apps or set alarms as reminders. Keep in mind that taking breaks while doing work or any activity that involves looking at a screen should be seen as a habit—not only when your eyes feel tired or strained.
Protect Your Eyes Today!
Protecting your eye health and overall wellness is all about balance, and incorporating regular screen breaks is crucial to achieving that. So step back, look away and breathe. And don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your trusted optometrist in Chambersburg, PA — Dr. Joel McGahen. In addition to eye exams, we also provide eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions. Get in touch with us by calling (717) 264-4012 or filling out our contact form.