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June 9, 2020

Are You Ready for a Digital Detox?

By EyeMed, Vision Care Provider

Let’s face it; we’re spending more and more time on screens. Good or bad, they’ve become an integral part of our lives even more so now than ever before. Digital burnout has always been a concern, and excessive screen use in simple terms doesn’t make us feel good. The latest detoxification trend, referred to as digital detox, is sweeping the globe.

The idea of a digital detox may sound like the ultimate luxury to some, but it means giving up your devices for a while and proves to be a much harder task than we think. Did you know that 80% of Americans use a digital device right before bed and can drastically disrupt sleep patterns? Over 87% of Americans stare at digital screens for 2+ hours a day, and 52.2% report using two digital devices simultaneously.

Research suggests that a digital detox can have a significant impact on our lives, including mental health benefits. More people, seeking to reclaim a life balance, are taking a break from digital devices for reasons that range from distraction-free family time to improved eye health.

What Steps Can I Take?

Try as we might, however, certain circumstances, like work, can prevent a complete power-down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt our habits and avoid the potential effects of digital overexposure. So, now that our lives rely even more heavily on screens, here are some ways to stave off digitally induced burnout:

  • Take frequent breaks: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  • Reduce overhead light to cut down on glare
  • Double-check your posture to make sure there’s enough space between you and your computer, and that eyes are gazing slightly downward
  • Increase text sizes to add contrast
  • Stay hydrated: Drink water, break out your humidifier or use artificial tears to help when eyes feel dry (we blink 1/2 to 1/3 less while using digital devices)

Some lenses on the market may help, too, like anti-reflective lenses and those featuring magnifications or filtering out blue-violet light rays.

What Are Blue Light Rays?

Blue-violet light rays derive naturally from the sun, but also from digital devices like computers, tablets, smartphones, and energy-efficient indoor lighting. Research indicates that prolonged exposure to these sources of blue light can cause eye strain and may contribute to the early onset of age-related macular degeneration and a gradual loss of clear sight.

In measured doses, blue light is good for us. It regulates our sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin during the day and helps boost alertness and improve our memories. The problem is, many of us screen-gaze in very high doses. Other sources of blue light include flat-screen TVs and fluorescent lighting, so you can see how the exposure adds up. All of that translates to a lot of demand on the eyes — 65% of us suffer from digital eye strain, including dryness, irritation, and blurry vision.

EyeMed’s Alliance Member Benefits

We recommend talking with your eye doctor if you’re concerned about your digital habits. They can help guide you in selecting both functional and fashionable options to relieve symptoms of digital eye strain. If you’re a member of the Alliance Health Plan, the EyeMed Members App video below gives a brief explanation of how to search for a provider, access your vision benefits, view special offers, and research online purchasing options available.

 

Cincinnati, Ohio-based EyeMed Vision Care, the fastest growing vision benefits company in the U.S., is dedicated to helping members achieve clear, healthy vision by giving them easy access to a diverse and expansive network of providers across the U.S. including independent eye doctors and national/regional retail setting providers like LensCrafters®, Pearle Vision® and Target Optical®. EyeMed’s client family is over 18,000 strong and counts more than 58 million funded benefit members. 

Visit us at eyemed.com, follow us on Twitter, and find us on LinkedInFacebook and Instagram.


Posted in: Health Plan Tools