If your eyes feel strained, tired, and irritated at the end of most days, there could be a number of causes. But, one cause, in particular, has been sharply on the rise in recent years. Before your next appointment with your optometrist, consider reducing your screen time in 2019. Screens are now an indispensable part of daily life for most people. Many jobs happen almost entirely through a computer screen and many people use their smartphones and TV as a primary form of entertainment. Because screens are unavoidable (especially if your job involves a screen), it has become more important to monitor how often you're staring at a screen and what you can choose to do instead. Here are a few pitfalls that cause screen time to skyrocket for some people:
Screens Before Bed
Today, many people take their phones with them everywhere - even into bed. That adds strain on the eyes and the blue light that emits from screens can actually disrupt sleep. Banning phones in bed is a great step towards reducing screen time and making sure that your eyes are getting the rest (and sleep) that they need. While screens can be necessary sometimes during the day, kicking them out at night is a good way to cut down.
Binge Watching TV Shows
With Netflix and Hulu leading the way, "binging" on TV shows has become standard practice. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the inundation of screens in modern life. Instead of binging your favorite shows, consider breaking up your viewing, watching just one episode per night. If that's too difficult, consider putting a time limit on your TV viewing each night. Entertainment and relaxation are important, but there are other vision-friendly alternatives (like reading) that you can do instead.
Compulsive Smartphone Scrolling
Do you reach for your smartphone whenever there's a lull in conversation? If so, those small moments are adding up to a TON of screen time each day. If that's a bad habit of yours, you're not alone. Try this: whenever you notice yourself reach for your phone, note it. Once you can see how often you're actually spending staring at your phone, you'll be more likely to take action. The action you take may be keeping your phone out of reach during the day or at night, whichever makes more sense.
Make it a priority to cut down on screen time in 2019. If you have tired eyes often, it could make a big difference. Discuss this and other ways to improve your vision and eye health with your optometrist during your next appointment!