The Hidden Consequence of Living in The Information Age
Today, the average American adult consumes about five times more information than adults 50 years ago.
Advances in technology have given us access to a world of information right at our fingertips—whenever we want it.
Not only that, but we can pick how we wish to receive it. Through televisions, computer, tablets, smartphones—even smartwatches.
It’s pretty remarkable how far we’ve come. But there’s a double-edged sword…
We spend more time than ever staring at screens—especially now that we rely on them to complete so many day-to-day tasks. (Studies have shown that daily average screen use has increased to 12 hours…that’s HALF of your day!)
All of this screen time is straining your eyes and dulling your vision.
Fortunately, you can still remain productive in today’s world while protecting your valuable eyesight. Today I’ll show you two effective approaches to safeguard your vision and help strained, tired eyes feel refreshed.
Symptoms of screen-related eye fatigue
While too much screen time hasn’t been shown to cause permanent damage to your long-term vision, the temporary effects are both inconvenient and uncomfortable.
You might be experiencing screen-related eye fatigue if you have:
The best way to alleviate these symptoms is to limit your screen time. But how much is okay for the average adult?
Be more mindful of your screen time
According to Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, the amount of appropriate screen time is different for everyone.
It’s more helpful to reassess the value of the time you spend interacting with screens versus what you’re losing.
“If you find your screens are starting to displace activities you think are more important or meaningful, that’s a sign that you may want to reconsider your use,” Newton says.
He goes onto explain that the goal shouldn’t be to eliminate screens from your life entirely, but to use them more intentionally.
“You want the feeling that your technology is improving your life, not detracting from its quality,” he says.
After you’ve discovered how to use your screens in a more mindful manner, there are ways you can modify them to make them work better for you.
Technology tips for happier eyes
To make your screens more user-friendly, here are few simple tips on how to adjust them for a more comfortable viewing experience.
However, I want to point out that screen overuse or improper screen settings aren’t the only issues hindering your vision.
There’s another serious threat that can destroy your vision for good…
Why chronic stress endangers your vision
Like me, you might be spending more time staring at your screens since you’re working remotely. And if you’re taking care of your kids and tending to your household at the same time, you’re probably more stressed than usual.
Unfortunately, this stress could be testing more than just your patience… It could be damaging your eyesight.
According to a recent European study published in the EPMA Journal, chronic stress amplifies the strain on your eyesight and can also lead to major vision problems.
According to lead researcher Professor Bernhard Sabel, chronic stress negatively affects your blood vessels. Your eyes are filled with tiny blood vessels, which deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the retina, macula, and all the crucial parts of the eye. So it makes sense that blood-vessel-damaging chronic stress can lead to eye conditions like glaucoma, optic neuropathy, age-related macular degeneration, and even complete vision loss.
Chronic stress also keeps your levels of the stress hormone cortisol high. And, over time, elevated levels of cortisol destroy body and organ tissue—including the eyes.
Fortunately, there are two all-natural strategies you can use starting today can combat stress, lower cortisol levels, and soothe eye strain.
Eliminate eye strain in three minutes flat
As an author, researcher, producer, and educator, I’m on my computer a lot—especially now that online video conferencing has become my new normal.
Suffice to say, I have quite a bit of first-hand experience with eyestrain.
Fortunately, these approaches can help relieve that strain in as little as three minutes. They’ve helped me a great deal over these past few months.
Yoga for your eyes
In a 2016, 60 nursing students were taught how to practice a technique called “eye yoga.” They reported that the exercise helped significantly reduce eye fatigue.
During this exercise, I want you to remember to keep your head still and breathe slowly throughout.
To begin, find a comfortable sitting position. Keep your eyes open. Blink whenever you feel the need. Then perform the following sequence without moving your head—using only your eyes:
A whole-body “reset”
This second method alleviates stress by activating your parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” function). This can be done easily, safely, and naturally with a technique called vagal nerve stimulation (VNS).
Your vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body that touches nearly all major organs in your body—including your eyes. So by stimulating it, you help it to relax and function optimally. It’s like a reset for your entire body!
To stimulate your vagus nerve:
It’s my hope that you’ll try out a few of these tips and techniques the next time you find yourself face-to-face with a screen. Let me know if you feel a difference—simply drop me a line via the Sound Health Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you!
Jim Donovan, M.Ed.
Effect of Various Eye Exercise Techniques along with Pranayama on Visual Reaction Time: A Case Control Study
Effects of yogic eye exercises on eye fatigue in undergraduate nursing students
The material provided on this site is for educational purposes only and any recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of your physician. You are encouraged to seek advice from a competent medical professional regarding the applicability of any recommendations with regard to your symptoms or condition.
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