Tech Devices, Gadgets, and your Vision

Have you ever monitored how much time you spend using electronic devices such as: smartphones, tablets, laptops, or the ever-popular virtual reality headset? Approximately 97% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind. According to Deloitte, people in the United States across all age groups check their phones an average of 46 times per day. Many workers and students use computers daily and spend about five hours daily browsing the internet and using apps. Some wonder if these new tech devices are taking a toll on our vision?

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology that has resulted in rapid expansion in the development of virtual immersive environments for use as educational simulations in schools, colleges, and universities. Virtual reality refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices, such as special goggles or headset with a screen or gloves fitted with sensors. In this simulated artificial environment, the user can have a realistic-feeling experience.

This technology is relatively new and there is no research to determine if VR will cause vision damage. However, there is evidence that using a digital device for long periods of time without taking breaks can cause eye strain, dry eye, watery eyes, blurred vision and fatigue. If you are experiencing eye strain or to help prevent it, we recommend following these helpful tips:

  • Give your eyes a break; follow the 20-20-20 rule. "20-20-20" rule: Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Blink often or apply preservative-free artificial tears if necessary.
  • Try a humidifier in dry environments.
  • Ask your eye doctor about wearing computer glasses.
  • Adjust the brightness or contrast on your smart device.

If you are experiencing ongoing eye discomfort or changes in your vision, contact Shofner Vision Center online to schedule a comprehensive exam or call (615) 340-4733.

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