Recent health reports have suggested that the overuse of computer technology could be responsible for damaging our visual health. But herein lies the problem; no matter what age, gender, job role or social status, we all spend most the hours of our day staring at screens.
Whether it’s a computer screen, a laptop, tablet, our mobile phones or our televisions, today’s modern world is almost entirely run by technology.
So is the digital generation doomed to have poor eye health? Could we be tripping ourselves up for a series of eye problems in later life? Could our children be seriously affected with them using technology from such a young age?
The latest research from Optegra Eye Hospital tells us that one in five general practitioners are now saying that technology is the key cause of increasing eye health problems here in the UK. With a noticeable rise of eye health issues in the last 10 years, it’s important that we limit our use of technology whenever possible. Here are a few ways to help reduce the risks of technology related eye health problems for the whole family.
Choose Paper Books over E-books
You can’t beat a paper book – and if you’ve read paperbacks your whole life, you will probably agree that there is something so satisfying about physically turning a new page or chapter. This is something that should be encouraged with your children too and the whole family should avoid e-books whenever possible.
Take Breaks When Using a Computer
Whether you’re at work, managing household finances online or helping your kids with their homework, it’s important to take regular breaks. Encourage your kids to take breaks too so they can keep their eye health on track. It’s also important to remember to blink when looking at computer screens – this will help to increase tear production to hydrate your eyes.
Spend More Time Outside
If the weather is good and it’s safe to play outside, this should be something that you encourage the whole family to do. Take up a sport, take a walk in the park or just enjoy an outdoor activity in the garden. Do anything to help break up the hours which could be spent in front of the TV.
Limit Internet Usage in the Home
Internet usage or gaming time should be limited in the house. Set limits to an hour a day so that your children or other family members don’t spend too much time staring at a screen.
Use Eye Exercises for Tired Eyes
Sometimes we just can’t help how much time we spend in front of a computer – if you have a looming deadline, it’s very easy to forget to break away from your work. Dry and tired eyes is a common symptom for people who work with computers a lot but there are some quick exercises which could help you relieve any short term discomforts.
Go for Regular Check Ups
With the increased eye health problems in the UK and the overuse of technology in everyday life, it’s very important that you go for regular eye exams. Eye exams will help detect any early signs of eye disorders so it’s important that you make this a priority for family members of all ages.
Use Soothing Eye Drops
Eye drops can help to keep your eyes hydrated and moist even when you’ve been staring at a screen for hours. Always carry some in your bag and make sure you get drops for the whole family.
Change Your Diet
Believe it or not, our diets could also play a part in our eye health. There are some foods which can act as a preventative measure; carrots can help us see better in the dark, oily fish can help to prevent conditions such as blepharitis and kale can help to fight macular degeneration. Find out more here about what foods to include in your diet.