We are all guilty of staring at (electronic) screens for a prolonged period. From smartphones to televisions to laptops and tablets, adults spend about 7 hours or more daily looking at some type of screen. While this may be considered a normal part of our everyday routines, too much screen time can harm our eyes and skin. 

What Does Excessive Screen Time Do to Your Eyes?

Things you should know about staring at screen

Your eyes are not only ones affected or working overtime when you look at a screen for hours. Continue reading to find out what electronic type of light gadget emits and how it affects your eyes, skin, and overall health.

Blue light – Most devices emit blue light or high energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths. This produces a high amount of energy and is associated with oxidative stress, eye irritation, and damage to retina. Research also suggests that blue light suppresses the production of melatonin (sleep hormones), which then disrupt sleep patterns. 

Dry eyes – Staring too long at a screen reduces your blink rate by up to half. The normal rate is about 15 to 20 times per minute. This can then lead to dryness and blurred vision. It is also likely that you may experience pain and redness throughout the day when you’re fixated on a screen and not blinking. 

Digital eye strain – Excessive screen time can cause digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. This condition, according to the American Optometric Association, refers to the group of eye and vision problems due to prolonged gadget use. This can cause eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision.

Compromised skin – The blue light emitted by gadgets can penetrate into the skin deeper than UV rays. This can promote skin damage like color changes or pigmentation, as well as photoaging. The skin around your eyes is susceptible to this damage, as it is thinner and more delicate than the skin on your face.

Tech neck – This refers to the pain and wrinkles on the neck due to being fixated or looking down at a phone or any other electronic devices. Tech neck may develop without you realizing it, until you feel pain or notice lines forming on your neck or chest. Learn more about tech neck in our previous post.

How to protect your eyes

Protecting your eyes should start with limiting your screen time. Unfortunately, this is not applicable in most cases. Gadgets are here to stay, so it is best to use them wisely. Below are a few things that can help protect your eyes:  

Use a blue light screen shield or use the blue light setting – Filter screen shields or protectors use a special coating to reduce blue light exposure and lessen eye strain. You can use this to cover your tablet or phone. Another option is to enable the night mode or blue light filter setting on your phone. 

Use the 20-20-20 rule – Reduce eye strain by using the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes spent on a screen, look away at an object at 20 feet away (or more) for at least 20 seconds. This will help relax your eye muscles and allow you to take frequent breaks from staring at a screen.

Raise your screen – To avoid flexing your neck down or forward, hold your phone or tablet close to eye level. For laptops and desktops, you can use a laptop/monitor stand or riser to adjust the height of your screen. You can also consider a standing desk to alternate between sitting and standing. 

Be gentle with your eyes – This applies when applying skin care products and removing eye makeup. Other tips for being gentle with your eyes include avoiding rubbing your eyes, removing your contacts before going to bed, and consulting an eye doctor for your eye or vision problems. 

Use an eye cream or serum – This is a good addition to your skin care routine, especially if you have dark circles. We recommend Dr. Sylvia’s Elastifirm Eye Restore with Peptides and Arnica. This is formulated with clinically proven ingredients to reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines around the eye area.

Don’t let prolonged screen time lead to vision problems and accelerated skin aging. Browse through our website today for more product recommendations or schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctors for treatments on anti-aging your eyes.

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