Looking at screens have generated new myths

Similar to the old myth that if someone is sitting too close to the big tube TV, you would ruin your eyes, there are some new myths and facts about how screens affect our vision.

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Looking at screens for too long can cause eyestrain, but so can driving long distances. Eyestrain can be caused by other vision problems like farsightedness or astigmatism.

Eyestrain is caused by the small muscles in and around the eyes and can cause headaches, blurry vision, watering eyes, and sensitivity to light. It is often temporary and will improve if you look away from the computer screen now and then.

Blue light from electronic screens is not making you blind, nor does it cause any eye disease. While research finds blue light can damage cells under certain lab conditions, it is very different from what happens in the cells of our retina.

You get lots of blue light from the sun, not just from screens. Blue light-blocking filters don't block out much blue light. You could get the same effect by holding your screen one inch farther away.

  • Use the 20-20-20 rule if you spend long periods in front of screens. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Giving your eyes other things to look at breaks the monotony that can cause eyestrain.
  • We also tend to blink less when looking at something for a long time. If your eyes feel dry when you look at a screen for long periods, use some eye drops.
  • Protect your eyes outdoors, as ultraviolet light from the sun can damage your eyes.

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