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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. These famous words of Charles Dickens are playing out today more than ever in the area of technology.

We are living in the best of times to obtain knowledge at the push of a button. But smartphones, laptops, iPads, video games, smart boards, tablets can all add up daily total screen time. Research shows the impact can adversely affect your eyes, your focusing, your moods, and even your ability to sleep and relax. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended only two hours of screentime per day as a standard for children.

What are the symptoms of too much screen time on the eye, and how can you combat these symtoms?

Doctors are seeing an increase in dry eye syndrome because patients do not blink as often when they are staring at the screen for a prolonged period of time. This causes burning or watery eyes, rubbing of the eyes, and frequent headaches.

The key to combatting these symptoms is to consciously blink more, use rewetting eye drops, and take frequent breaks. Perform a visual exercise where every 5-10 minutes, you focus on a distant target for 10 seconds, then return to your screen. Your eye care practitioner can also recommend specialized computer lenses with anti-glare properties to mininmize fatigue.

It is important to reiterated that screentime is not bad if used with moderation and freqeunt breaks. In fact, many computer programs are used to help patients strengthen their eye muscles and promote hand eye coordination. So the key is to enjoy the use of your technology, and remember that balance is the key to life.

So take frequent breaks, and use preventative measures such as re-wetting eye drops, anti-glare computer lenses, and eye exercises to minimize negative impact of screen time on your precious eye sight.

 

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