Too much screen time is bad for your eyes

72943066_MYou’re staring at one right now. Chances are, you look at them for the majority of your waking hours. We can’t get away from them as more and more creep into our everyday lives.

We’re talking about screens. You know, the tiny smartphone screen you check social media on. The big screen you watch your favorite shows and sports on. The one you use to check your email, do your work, keep track of calendars, budgets, family, friends … oh my! There are screens in our cars. To order food. To tell time. There are screens everywhere.

Research from the Nielsen Company shows that adults in the United States spend more than 10 hours each day using screens on devices such as tablets, smartphones, personal computers, multimedia devices and TVs. Yikes! How can you keep your eyes happy and healthy with all of this screen time? Here are some tips:

Take a break. Make sure you blink regularly to keep your eyes lubricated, which in turn helps prevent fatigue. And don’t forget to take a break from staring at the screen, too. Look at anything else for at least 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of screen time to give your eyes a much-deserved rest. Try gazing into the distance every now and then to give your eyes a break from looking up close at a screen.

Turn it off. Put away your phone for an hour when you’d normally use it. Turn off the TV before getting ready for bed. If you spend a lot of time during the day on screens, limit screen time on nights and weekends. Consider reading books instead of e-books, for example. Simple changes can have some big benefits to your eyes.

Reduce brightness. Reducing the brightness on any screen and making sure that the screen is not the only source of light in the room also can lessen the strain on your eyes.

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