Staying inside encourages people to search for entertainment, such as television shows and games on our phones. While you may be watching educational documentaries or playing strategic games, you’re spending more time looking at screens, and that exposes you to too much artificial blue light.
In honor of May, Vision Health Month, Healthcare Solutions has provided several ways to take care of your eyes.
Exchange Artificial for Natural
When we use mobile devices and other screens, we’re exposing ourselves to artificial blue light for longer periods of time and at closer distances. Over time, this exposure affects our morning alertness and makes us feel fatigued. Bright light prevents the production of melatonin, which is a natural antioxidant that protects your DNA from damage. It causes you to feel sleepy as it increases production, usually around 9 o’clock at night.
The sun is a natural source of blue light and helps us maintain a regular circadian rhythm. However, you can have too much of a good thing. When you spend time in the sun, maintain your eye health by wearing sunglasses with UV-A and UV-B protection. Sun damage increases your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Maintain a Balanced Diet
If you’ve watched Bugs Bunny cartoons, you know that carrots are good for your eyesight. But why?
In truth, British Royal Air Force pilots had developed and started using radar technology in WWII. They wanted to keep it a secret from their enemies, so they attributed their improved accuracy to carrots and created propaganda campaigns to solidify the myth.
While carrots are not a magical vegetable, they are good for your health. Carrots provide several benefits:
- Orange carrots are high in beta carotene. Our body converts it into vitamin A, which forms rhodopsin, a light-sensitive pigment that allows us to see at night.
- Yellow carrots are high in lutein. It helps in preventing AMD, which can affect our ability to discern colours and faces.
- Carrots are high in fibre, so they prevent constipation, improve gut health, and protect against colon cancer.
A trick to eating right is to include different coloured vegetables and fruits, so you get your daily minerals and vitamins.
Use Eye Drops When Needed
Eye drops are used for a myriad of reasons, including dry eyes, post-surgery treatments, and infections. As people age, our bodies create fewer low-quality tears, which can cause dry eyes. From redness to sandpaper sensations to burning, dry eyes need to be treated with the proper type of eye drops.
If you have trouble squeezing your eye drop bottle, Healthcare Solutions carries an autosqueeze device that will make the task much easier to perform.
Limiting Screen Time
Looking at a screen for a long period of time can cause viewers to blink less often and increase eye strain. Artificial blue light from screens generates more of a scatter in the eye since it’s a less focused energy wavelength light. Consequently, it creates more activity in the eye and stimulates the brain. This is why it’s best to not look at a screen for a minimum of 30 minutes before going to bed.
There is a 20-20-20 rule that can help if you must work on a computer or phone for long periods of time. For every 20 minutes you look at blue light, look away at a distance of about 20 feet (6 metres) for 20 seconds. When you’re looking away, you can take this opportunity to also stretch your legs if you’ve been sitting for a long time.
If you must be on your phone or computer at night, Windows 10 and MacOS Sierra come with Night light and Night Shift preferences you can adjust as the light in your environment changes. These features reduce eye strain, so you can continue to be productive. There are also third-party filter apps you can use to limit your exposure to blue light.
Binge-watching movies and shows has become a trending activity, which is promoting less exercise, more food consumption, less sleep, and more eye strain. Cut back on your screen time and include a variety of activities to improve your eye and overall health.
Did you know that your digital alarm clock produces blue light? When you go to sleep, make sure to turn your clock away from you or cover it with something. This way, you’ll increase your chances of falling asleep.
Invest in Eye Care Products
If you’re having trouble sleeping and you don’t already own black-out curtains, a sleep mask might be the answer. It’s not just for when you travel! Since a sleep mask acts as a light block, your body will be able to produce more melatonin, letting you fall asleep faster. Getting a good night’s sleep is one way to prevent eye twitches.
Continue to stay home, stay safe, and reduce your exposure to blue light. Check out our online store, or contact us today at 1-800-565-0333!