As this month’s Vision Monday cover story demonstrates, digital eye strain is a pervasive part of modern life that the general public is surprisingly unaware of. Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches and trouble sleeping, all associated with prolonged periods of staring at a digital screens. However, just as digital eye strain is a uniquely tech-centric problem, there are tech solutions eye care professionals can recommend to limit the condition.
1. Flux App for Desktop
A major cause of wakefulness as a result of digital screens is the blue light that they emit. According to Harvard Health, blue light boosts attention and reaction times, qualities good for daytime hours, but not necessarily a great fit before bedtime. An excellent desktop app to combat these effects is Flux. Use the app to adjust the amount of blue light filtered out of your screen you’re comfortable with and set the time of day you’d like it to kick in. Flux will then gradually transition to this amount each day.
2. Blue Light Filter for Mobile
If you have an iPhone, you already have some form of blue light filtering on your phone already. However, there are apps available to further customize these preferences throughout the day. Blue Light Filter by Leap Fitness Group, for example, allows you to adjust your screen’s “color temperature” and – much like Flux – set a timer for when it activates each day.
3. Blue Light Filtering Lenses
For those who move from device to device throughout the day, an app for each screen can get cumbersome. A solution for this is blue light filtering lenses, which can be added onto a prescription to filter out light at the eyewear level. Zyloware recently partnered with Dollhouse Goddesses to showcase how stylishly blue blocking lenses can limit wakefulness and digital eye strain.
4. Taking Breaks from Digital Screens
This isn’t necessarily a tech solution, but it’s worth highlighting that frequent breaks from digital screen time during work and leisure hours can address digital eye strain effectively as well. It’s recommended to avoid digital screens at least an hour before bedtime to get a good night’s sleep and take 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day to keep eyes from drying out.