According to the Pew Research Centre, %85 of American adults own cell phones, and the amount of time we spend looking at electronic screens is only increasing every year. It is important to consider how different types of electronic screens impact our eyes.
Dr. McCann, local optometrist, says that we must consider what type of light is emitted by each device. For example, a smart phone screen emits blue light, which can damage your corneas over prolonged extended exposure. Also, electronic screens reduce our blink rate signifigantly. Dr. McCann explains how this can harm our eyes.
“It tends to dry out our eyes. So if we aren’t blinking, it’s not stimulated the oil glands that are in our eye-lids. The oil glands can’t coat the tear film as well as they normally would. The tears evaporate faster, we get dry spots on the eye – that can cause some pain and discomfort, some people call it tired or heaviness of the eye. All of those are related to digital eye strain.”
With technology holding such a prevalence in our everyday lives, it is worth looking into the different types of screens and the potential eye strain they might cause. For example, an e-ink (or electronic ink) device is designed to reduce the eye strain associated with looking at a digital screen for an extended period of time.
James Wu is Senior Director of Product Design and Reader Experience at Kobo, the e-reader manufacturer. He explains how e-ink devices differ from other electronic screens from a technical stand-point.
“It isn’t a format that emits light. It’s called a reflective technology, in that it relies on ambient light or light shined on it enable for use to see it.”
Electronic screens are everywhere in daily life, and there is strong research to support the idea that extended screen-time can damage our eyes. Whether you self-monitor the amount of time you look at your screen, see your optometrist more regularly, or invest in an e-ink device – it seems wise to take better care of our eyes.