5 Tips to Help Reduce Digital Eye Strain

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How many hours a day do you spend staring at a screen? An hour? Three to four hours? More? According to recent findings from The Vision Council, more than 83% of Americans spend more than two hours a day with their eyes fixed on a screen.

And that stat shouldn’t surprise anyone. From the living room to the board room, we rely on our devices to stay informed, connect with others, and in many cases, earn a living. Mobile devices and computers deliver countless benefits. However, they can also serve up a less beneficial side effect.

Today’s digital devices and computer monitors emit blue light. Exposure to this high-energy light can contribute to digital eye strain in as little as two hours of exposure. Here’s why: After blue light enters your eyes it scatters. Your eyes then work extra hard trying to focus that scattered light, which they cannot do. Think of it like running a marathon where someone keeps moving the finish line back—a lot of strain without anything to show for it.

So how can you curb your blue light exposure and take the strain out of screen time?  Here are five tips you can easily implement into your daily routine:

  1. Talk to your eye doc.
    An annual trip to the eye doctor is critical for the entire family (especially children). Ask your VSP eye doctor about the best lens options to help you or your children reduce eye strain. Even if you don’t wear corrective lenses, some blue light coatings like TechShield Blue can be applied to non-prescription eyewear.
  2. Observe the 20-20-20 rule.
    Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes and spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away. Also, blinking more often helps to moisten your eyes, which may help reduce visual discomfort.
  3. Maintain your digital distance.
    Find a comfortable working distance from your screen. This is especially important for children since the intensity of blue light increases the closer your eyes are to the source. Children have shorter arms and therefore receive a more intense dose of blue light from devices. Adults and children should hold devices at arm’s length.
  4. Dim the lights.
    Turn down the brightness on your screens to reduce the amount of blue light exposure, especially during the evening hours. Also, as LED and CFL lighting also emit blue light, it’d be a good idea to dim those at home or work if possible.
  5. Download an app.
    A number of apps are also available to help reduce blue light emission from devices.

Reduce your blue light exposure and save up to $70

For a limited time, you can save as much as $70 when you reduce your blue light exposure with TechShield Blue. Here’s how:

Purchase Unity® Progressive Lenses with TechShield™ Blue and redeem one of the following two rebates:

  • SPECIAL OFFER: $25 Patient Rebate
    • Available through VSP network doctor locations
    • VSP members are eligible for two redemptions – for a total value of up to $50
    • Mail-in rebate paid in the form of a Visa® Prepaid Card* 
  • BONUS OFFER: $35 Patient Rebate
    • Available through VSP Global® Premier Program locations
    • VSP members are eligible for two redemptions – for a total value of up to $70
    • Mail-in rebate paid in the form of a Visa® Prepaid Card*

This was a guest post by VSP employee Paul J. Eye health information was reviewed by Dr. Gary Morgan. 

12 Comments

  • I would like additional information on this.

  • Rebecca B Cochran says:

    Can current glass be coated?

  • Terri Kotchevar says:

    I’ve searched the App Store, and cannot find any apps that help reduce blue light emission. Can you be more specific?

    • Patrick I. says:

      Terri,

      Here are a few notable blue light apps:
      • f.luxometer
      • Apple night shift is preloaded on iPhones and iPads
      • The Galaxy S8 comes preloaded with a blue light app, but it doesn’t have a name
      • Blue Shade for Amazon Fire
      • There should be a variety of others if you search “blue light app” in the app store, unless they’ve been removed recently.

      Hope this helps! -Patrick I., VSP

    • Michele says:

      The one I use is Twilight – I especially love it because you can set it to gradually redden the light at a set time or according to the sunrise/sunset times at your location.

  • Julianne O'Neil says:

    What if I already got my prescription filled (progressive lenses) and didn’t know anything about this? I got Transitions progressive lenses in January.

  • Terri says:

    So how do I get this rebate?

  • Terri Nielsen says:

    I want TechShield Blue on my next pair of glasses I’m on the computer 8 hrs a day

    • Terri Kotchevar says:

      I got Tech Shield Blue on my work computer glasses this year. It’s instant relief every time I put them on!! You will love them!

  • Patrick Patterson says:

    I’m curious about the rebate. I’m concerned about my eye health because I also am constantly looking at computer screens… I’m liking at one now!

  • Terri says:

    Why does it have to say “limited time” instead of saying exactly how long I have to make an appt? I don’t want to rush in when a later time would be better since this is a busier time at work – also don’t want to wait until I have a slower day and miss the promo.

  • Doni says:

    Great, I need to purchase new computer glasses in 2018. This is great info.

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