Increased exposure to artificial blue light from digital screens can be harmful to your eyes

An independent opticians in Westport has claimed that more of their patients have experienced issues with their eyes due to increased screen time from working from home.

Team members at Eye World, on Market Lane, say that patients have told them they have been suffering from eye strain and headaches due to long days in front of their laptops or tablets.

Eye World say these issues are linked to digital eye strain, sometimes known as Computer Vision Syndrome, which is caused by an increase in screen time on visual display units (VDUs), such as those being used for home working.

Tired eyes, blurred vision and neck pain could also be indicators that you are experiencing eye strain, the opticians say.

Optometrist Clodagh McGovern said: “When you stare in one spot for too long, particularly at a VDU, you naturally don’t blink as much, sometimes 50% less than normal.

“That is a big factor in causing eye strain, as your eyes get drier and drier through the day. This can lead to fluctuations in vision which can cause headaches and other pains; it’s definitely more of a problem in the COVID-19 era as it’s harder now to get away from your screens.

“What many people don’t realise is that they are also now more exposed to the blue light emanating from digital screens, which can also be a contributing factor.”

While the blue light that comes through screens can contribute to eye strain, it will not do any long-term damage to your eye, according to Clodagh.

She continued: “Although blue light does not damage the eye, it is still an important thing to manage as it can cause discomfort.

“Thankfully, there are many solutions that can help to alleviate eye strain, both at home and by speaking to experts.

“A simple thing you can do is try blinking more than usual, while also following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to rest the muscles in your eye. Using the ‘dark mode’ features on your device will also reduce the strain on your eyes.

“The best advice I can give, however, is to see a qualified optometrist. At Eye World, we can find a solution tailored for you, which could be blue light lenses which help to block the amount that enters the eye.”

Despite new lockdown restrictions, Eye World is still providing eye tests to those who need access to eyecare.

Visits are by appointment only, and all staff are equipped with full PPE and strict measures have been introduced to guarantee a safe environment.

Eye World are offering €50 off blue light lenses till the end of March, please call the practice or ask a member of the team for more details.

Eye World - Market Lane, Bridge Street, Westport, County Mayo, F28 AX75 | +353 98 26732

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