Technology advances at lightning speed – as least, it seems like it does! I been staring at screens almost my whole life, whereas my Mom just started really using the computer a few years ago!
When I began my first job, where I was required to look at a PC monitor screen for 8 hours/5 days a week. I started noticing pretty quickly that my eyes were becoming strained. My eyes wouldn’t adjust as quickly between distant and close-up, as was obvious when looking in the rear view mirror in the car, and during other activities. I developed eye floaters. And in the last year, the number of floaters in my eyes has increased 15-fold. I’ve also developed blurry spots in both of my eyes.
I’m not saying that these problems are caused by looking at screens for so many hours each day, but I’m sure that whatever IS the root cause is being exacerbated by looking at screens.
So why are screens a potential culprit? And how to remediate?
PC monitors as well as Mac monitors use various lighting — in the past, CCFLs were often used, and now, almost all screens (i think) are lit with LEDs instead. I won’t go into crazy detail, but I’ll mention that the incredible brightness of LEDs can be incredibly damaging to the retina. I just don’t think our eyes were built to be staring into the bright bright light of the LED, which is like shining a floodlight into the retina. The problem is, if you decrease the brightness on your monitor, another problem is created that causes further eye strain – via Pulse With Modulation (PWM) – you can read about it here, and test your screen with the information found here.
Another problem is the blue and green light ratio to other colors in the light spectrum – LEDs are very heavy on the blue light.
All of these issues can be remediate by using an app called “Iris.” Here are the most important features to use in Iris:
- Brightness decrease: it is important to understand that to avoid the damage from PWM, you must set the brightness of your screen at 100%, and then decrease the brightness WITHIN the Iris app settings.
- Blue light decrease – make sure you put on “Health” mode at the very least, and then decrease the Blue light in the Iris app settings.
- Break timer – you can turn on the timer in the Iris app settings. I set mine to “Strict”, and every 20 minutes, the app makes a beeping noise, and the screen goes grey for 20 seconds. During these 20 seconds, I get up and look at a distant object. This is a healthy practice for our eyes!
There are many other features within the Iris app you can play around with, but these are the two most important.
Electromagnetic radiation (also known as EMF or EMR) also damages the eyes, which you can read about in the BioInitiative Report. The best way to remediate this is to remove all sources of wireless radiation in your home (hard wire your laptop with an ethernet cable and get rid of your router) and shield the smart meter installed on the exterior of your home. You can find out more about reducing EMR here.