How much time do you spend looking at your phone?
Professionals are saying increased screen time, specifically to the blue light emitted from screens, could be causing damage to your eyes. Not only does blue light carry the most energy, our eyes aren't capable of filtering it as well as other forms of light. This leads to more blue light making it to the retina and potentially causing damage to light-sensitive cells within the eye.
On average, Albertans spend 10.5 hours a day on electronic devices. Roughly 70 per cent of adults notice symptoms of digital eye strain and one third notice it in their kids.
Fort Saskatchewan Eye Care Optometrist Dr. Wyatt Shaw said the effect can be harder to see with children.
"Kids are not able to tell you about the signs that they're feeling, so that can make things a little more worrisome. Also, with very young kids, their eyes are still trying to develop and figure out the world around them and screen time can throw a kink into that development," explained Shaw.
For kids, Shaw recommends no more than an hour of screen time at once and encourages lots of breaks.
Some of the effects of digital eye strain include blurred or double vision and headaches, as well as sore, tired, burning, watery or itchy eyes.
"Nowadays, all the digital devices that we're using up close — they're so close to our face with very tiny text — are just adding more strain to our everyday life," added Shaw.
There is no known limit for the amount of harmful screen time, as it differs case by case, but limiting time on electronics, taking breaks and decreasing phone brightness can help prevent damage.