We spend just short of nine hours every day using electronic devices according to recent stats. Now, in a bid to cut screen time and avoid potential damage to our eyes, Ofcom has revealed millions of us are opting to digital detox by powering off our devices in order to strike a better tech/life balance.

To help make the transition from screen to serene a little bit easier, staff at Specsavers in Maldon have given us a sneak peek at their top tips to avoid overexposure to digital technology.

Avoid overexposure

Jan Lotter, ophthalmic director at Specsavers in Maldon, said: ‘Overexposure to digital devices, particularly those used in close proximity to the face like smart phones, tablets and computer screens can have damaging effects on the health of your eyes.

‘Headaches, problems focusing, light sensitivity, watery or dry eyes and blurred vision are all common symptoms. If left untreated these can develop into longterm problems.

‘It’s important to take steps to avoid straining your eyes when using digital technology but we can’t realistically go cold turkey. To make it easier we’ve put together some small, simple changes you can make to help give your eyes the break they need.’

Digital detox top tips

  • Rest your eyes – Take a minute away from the screen to look out of the window or at a distant object. Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye, which in turn reduces eye fatigue
  • Regular screen breaks – take a break from your computer by getting up to make a drink or going for a quick walk to reduce stressed eyes
  • Reduce glare - Glare reflected from your computer screen can cause eye strain. Anti-glare apps, filters and screen attachments can be used to reduce glare and if you wear glasses, try an anti-glare coating on your lenses
  • Adjust your monitor's settings – Adjusting your display settings can reduce eye fatigue. Turn brightness to the same as the surroundings and adjust text size and contrast so it’s comfortable to read. Black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort
  • Use adequate lighting – Eye strain is often caused by excessive lighting. Use curtains or blinds to reduce the brightness of the sun and try to avoid fluorescent lights when working on a screen
  • Have an eye test – Regular eye exams are essential for clear, comfortable vision as well as a broader health assessment. If you use computer monitors for the majority of the working day, The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 stipulate your employer is required to pay for regular sight tests

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