Each and every day, we spend countless hours with digital devices. Our phones seem to have become an appendage to our bodies. TV, computers and tablets are part of the fabric of our lives.
I believe technology is definitely improving and enhancing my life in many ways. I am so grateful to be able to see photos of my children and grandchildren as they grow and experience the many wonders of life, even when we are thousands of miles from each other.
The ease of finding information for work and answering the many questions that arise in life are two more ways that I enjoy using technology. But according to eye doctors' reports, visual fatigue or eyestrain is an increasingly common condition resulting from continual digital use. In optometrist, Dr. Gemie Pham's article on Blue-light eye strain, she highlighted some of the health issues associated with technology usage.
"Symptoms of visual fatigue may include watery, dry, tired, burning or stinging eyes, difficulty focusing or concentrating, sensitivity to light and headaches. Some symptoms have lasting effects that cause discomfort long after the devices have been put away." If you are like me, at least a couple of those symptoms fit.
For me, the biggest problem I face with technology is the impact on my sleep. The High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light that is emitted from the TV, computer, phone, LED lights and tablets is a problem that causes eye strain. Natural blue turquoise light is beneficial to regulate sleep, increases alertness and improves moods. HEV blue light is not natural and due to over exposure to these digital devices, many of us experience symptoms of eye strain and difficulty sleeping.
My own experience setting a limit has helped in terms of better sleep and an easier time falling asleep. My general limit is no TV, computer, phone or tablet at least a half an hour before bed and preferably an hour before. I'm not so rigid as to not have an occasional late night of TV watching or a message read on the phone when necessary. Generally though, I stick to my limit and it has made a world of difference. Rather than tossing and turning for an hour or more, as I used to do, I usually fall asleep fairly quickly now.
Dr. Pham suggested that for every 20 minutes of work at a computer, phone or tablet (all close-to-us blue light emissions) to take a 20 second break by focusing on objects that are 20 feet away. She calls this the 20/20/20 rule. I've been trying it and it seems to provide a much needed break for my eyes.
God has given us the precious gift of our eyes. Man has created the phenomenal tools of technology. If we care for our eyes and keep balance in our use of digital devices, we can avoid eye strain and enjoy the grace of God in harmony with modern technology.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
Loving Life and Living Love,
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