Leading optometrist Dhruvin Patel is a specialist in the impact of blue light on eye health, that is, the light produced by phone and computer screens.
Blue light can make it hard to sleep and affect eye health
The researchers say that exposure to blue light could increase the risk of eye damage and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Patel shared his tips for minimizing the impact of blue light while working from home or using screens.
1. Work an arm’s length away from the screen.
Fully extend your arm and work from a distance, looking from the eyes to the tips of the fingers.
Use this as the minimum distance to reduce the strain on your eyeballs.
Simply put, every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds at a distance of at least 20 feet.
This will help reset your visual systems and help you observe during extended periods of screen work.
3. Screen height
The height and level of the work screen can have a big impact on eyestrain.
Research has shown that it is best if the screen is located higher than the users viewing level: the midpoint should be 5-6 inches below the users straight line of vision.
This makes the space between the upper and lower eyelids more open, often leading to dry eyes.
Position the computer screen to avoid reflections, particularly from overhead lighting or windows.
Use blinds or shades on windows and replace bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage and intensity.
If there is no way to minimize glare from light sources, consider using an anti-glare filter.
5. Put a sticky note on your screen titled “FLICKER”.
Normally, in a minute we blink up to 20 times. This is automatically controlled by our central nervous system, so we are not aware of blinking.
Whilst on screens this is reduced to 3-5 times per minute which means our tear films cannot be maintained and the eye does not remain lubricated.
A sticky note on your monitor that says “Blink” should help you make a conscious effort to blink. It’s simple but it definitely works.
6) Consider your device
Usually the biggest and newest phone is the best, but not in your eyes. An iPhone X is 20 percent brighter than an iPhone 6 and emits higher levels of blue light.
This is the difference of a 100 percent increase in harmful blue light exposure!
7. Remember to turn off
I would suggest not using digital devices or artificial lighting after sunset. If you’re like most people, you’re probably sending that last-minute email or wrapping up your favorite show on Netflix before bed.
Try reading a book or starting that meditation you promised yourself to do in the new year.
Dhruvin Patel says it shouldn’t be assumed that the devices’ “night mode” or “blue shade” are enough to counteract the impact of blue light.
He said that “this has been shown not to help sleep compared to normal output from a screen” and therefore, even with this enabled, you should avoid the screen after sunset, if possible.
Patel founded a company called Ocushield that produces blue light filtering screen protectors based on his research on light source impact.
Source: Dhruvin Patel (ocushield)