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More screens, more eye appointments

The blue light from electronics could cause premature aging, study finds
Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 10:03:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Probably the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home. But whether you’re binge-watching Netflix, or just helping the kids with at-home learning, chances are, you’ve been drawn to those screens for months.

"Everybody being home from COVID; working from home. Spending more time on their devices because they don’t have other things to do," says Dr. Robert Iverson, Fashion Eye Center of Tucson.

Whether it’s your TV, tablet, phone, or computer, every digital device we have emits a little something called blue light.

"Those focusing muscles keep working and working and they get tired," says Iverson. "Especially those who may have an uncorrected prescription. Older patients who don’t focus as well as they used to."

And here’s something helpful: Doctors say if you are forced to stare at a screen all day, the "20/20 Rule" is a great way to keep your eyes fresh.

"Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s pretty simple, but it’s a great way to get your eyes to relax and focus on something further away," says Iverson.

Blue light is notorious for turning our circadian rhythm upside down. So if you’re one of the folks glued to their phone before bedtime, do a little exploring in your device’s settings.

"Most of our digital devices have something called 'nighttime mode', where the screen goes a little bit more amber. A little bit more of a yellow color to it.," says Iverson.

Tech experts say features like that alter your device’s screen temperature to a warmer color, so the blue light absorbed into your body isn’t as intense.

And don’t forget that yearly eye exam. Those who know eyes best say it’s one of the most important ways we can all keep our eyes happy, healthy, and focused on whatever else 2020 has in store for us.