Endless Scrolling Straining Your Eyes? Here’s How You Protect Them
While the onslaught of technology on our lifestyle continues, here’s what you can do to protect yourself against it.
While the onslaught of technology on our lifestyle continues, here’s what you can do to protect yourself against it.(Photo: iStockphoto)

Endless Scrolling Straining Your Eyes? Here’s How You Protect Them

As scrolling down your screens continues late into the night and first thing in the morning and during the day (and at all others times in between), the brunt of this is faced most by eyes.

Are you struggling with dry eyes, blurred vision, irritation or nearsightedness? Maybe all your screens are to be blamed.

While the onslaught of technology on our lifestyle continues, here’s what you can do to protect yourself against it.

Too caught up to read? Listen to the story here:

Are Eye Problems on the Rise?

Surprisingly enough - no, says Dr Tarun Kapur, Associate Director and Head of Department – Ophthalmology, Max Multi Speciality hospital, Panchsheel Park.

Surprisingly enough, eye problems are not on the rise.
Surprisingly enough, eye problems are not on the rise.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

However, there has been a rise in specific eye problems, he adds.

The eye health has not really deteriorated in the last few years. However, people now have become more aware and seek help from eye specialists compared to earlier. Furthermore, there has been a rise in the number of patients with two new disorders namely – Allergic Conjunctivitis which results from the high pollution levels in the city and the other is dryness and eye strain which is caused due to increased use of computers.
Dr Tarun Kapur

For How Long Should We Look at Screens Daily?

There is no fixed limit for this - this is something every user needs to asses on their own. Some people’s eyes are more sensitive than others for several reasons. They will tire soon and therefore should take regular breaks.

Here are some reasons which might tire your eyes faster:

  • Wearing contact lenses.
  • Wearing glasses/lenses of a wrong power.
  • Lack of lubrication - this leads to dry eyes and can include symptoms like itching and photosensitivity. (Consult your doctor for an eye lubricant prescription).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Air pollution

Dr Kapur agrees with this and says:

There is no fixed amount of time for using screen based equipment. Adequate rest, breaks in between and frequent intentional blinking along with lubricant eye drops has proven to help a lot.

Are Indians More Prone to Nearsightedness?

Are Indians genetically more prone to myopia or nearsightedness and can spending too much time looking at screens worsen it? Dr Kapur answers.

Myopia is a condition that is extremely common all over the world. Near vision activities increase myopia marginally.
Dr Tarun Kapur

How to Protect Your Eyes?

There may be a way to reverse the damage done to your eyes, depending on the condition, says Dr Kapur.

Reverse of the damage totally depends on the condition of the eye and the best treatment available, in most of the cases damage can be minimised.
Dr Tarun Kapur

Additionally, if you’re spending too much time looking at screens everyday, here’re are some things to keep in mind:

  • Get a prescribed eye lubricant.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule - every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Consciously blink often.
  • Take regular breaks from looking at screens.
  • Regulate the screen brightness of your devices - less bright at night and more during the day.
Regulate the screen brightness of your devices.
Regulate the screen brightness of your devices.
(Photo: iStockphoto)
  • Place the computer screen 20-30 inches away from you and your vision should be in line with the top of the device. This essentially means that the content on screen is just at or below eye level, points out Mayo Clinic.

Follow our Digital Health section for more stories.

    Also Watch