When it’s cold outside – and there is no work or school – sometimes there’s nothing nicer than curling up on the sofa and indulging in screen time... But there can be consequences to excessive use, which your eyes won’t thank you for.

Avoid eye strain
That is why Specsavers, which has stores across the North East, is urging people to limit device time to avoid eye strain.  Specsavers optometrist, Dr Nigel Best said:  'Recent statistics show that 57% of 16-24-year-olds own a tablet and unsurprisingly, 98% of UK household has a TV. 

'However, our eyes are not designed to be fixated on a single object for a long period of time which is why they can often become strained when we sit at a computer all day. 

'To remind you to ‘think eyes’ in the year 2020, apply the ‘20-20-20 rule’.  Aim to look at something 20ft away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.  It really helps to gives your eyes a break.'

Screen breaks
Studies have shown that when looking at a screen, the average eye blink per minute decreases. This causes incomplete blinking and the evaporation of tears which leads to eyes becoming dry.  Dr Nigel added: 'Dry Eye Syndrome can be extremely uncomfortable as the surface of the eye becomes inflamed. This inflammation further damages the cells which are responsible for tear production, resulting in a vicious circle of increasing inflammation and dryness.'

Taking breaks from screen time can also improve your mood. Theories show that taking a break from being in front of a screen and going on a short walk allows eyes to have time for a rest and for our mind to regroup.  Dr Nigel concluded: 'Eyes will thank you for getting them outside for a nice winter walk, and away from the screen!'

Specsavers recommends everyone has a sight test once every two years.

To find out more or book your next appointment, find your nearest Specsavers store in the North East. 

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