Step Away from the Screen

Which vegetable is better for your eye health: carrots or spinach? If you answered carrots, you, along with many others, are wrong. Surprisingly, antioxidants found in spinach may protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

March is Save Your Vision Month, but this month is more than just about eating the right foods to keep your eyes healthy. Save Your Vision Month is a time to educate yourself on how you can make sure your eyes stay in tip-top shape for as long as possible. While you may not eat spinach every day, or at all, there are other habits you can participate in that aid in protecting eye health as you age; one of those is taking breaks from screens. Of course, screen time is something that most everyone deals with in this age of smart phones, laptops and tablets. Our jobs, social lives, hobbies, finances, families and everything else can be accessed via a screen. So what negative affects are being caused by all this screen time? And, more importantly, how do you fight against them?

Poor lighting, glare on the screen, improper viewing distances and a collection of other factors can lead to negative side effects. This all equates to something called Computer Vision Syndrome. You can decrease the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome by keeping the proper distance between your eyes and the screen or changing the lighting around the screen to avoid glare.

"Eyestrain, headaches and dry eyes may be signs of too much screen time," said Wichita optometrist Dr. Julie Toon. "Sometimes the best way to reduce these negative effects is simply stepping away from the screen for a few moments."

Keep your eyes healthy by participating in Save Your Vision Month and taking necessary breaks from screens. A good rule of thumb is the 20-20-20 rule: If you spend most of your day staring at a screen, every 20 minutes take a 20-second break to focus your eyes on something 20 feet away. And maybe even eat some spinach.

March 4, 2019