Today, screens are everywhere: in our pockets, on our desks – even on the outside of our refrigerators. Viewing these screens for too long can cause irritation and eyestrain if exposure is long enough. Take a look at how digital screens can damage your eyes.

Types of Digital Devices

  • Televisions
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Game consoles
  • Appliance displays
  • Virtual reality headsets

Radiation

Digital screens thankfully don’t produce harmful amounts of radiation. The levels of x-rays or ultraviolet rays given off from phones and computers are below levels that cause damage in the eye, like cataracts. Some devices don’t give off any radiation at all.

Eyestrain

After long periods of viewing a digital screen, your eyes may dry out and become sore. Some people may have difficulty focusing on farther way objects after staring at a phone for too long. But difficulty focusing isn’t a new concern attributed to phones or tablets. The same result can come from reading books or tinkering with miniature objects for long periods of time.

Blue Light

Digital screens give off a type of wavelength called “blue light.” Blue light is a light wave commonly produced from the sun that is, in some levels, good for humans. Blue light helps with mood, memory and alertness.

Blue light also helps with sleep and waking functions. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours and lack of exposure during nighttime hours helps with the circadian rhythm of your body.

An extra amount of blue light at night, often from phones, tablets or computers, can cause your body cycle to be thrown off, causing fatigue the next day. Too much exposure over time can possibly cause damage to the retina cells in your eye.

Preventing Eye Damage from Digital Screens

There are several ways to help reduce issues from screens:

  • Limit your time viewing your digital screens
  • Lower your brightness
  • Use an orange-hued background light on devices at night
  • Place your screens about 21 inches or more away from your eyes