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Screen Time and Eye Health: Safeguarding Against Macular Degeneration

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In the spirit of Macular Degeneration Awareness Month this February, it's important to shed light on a topic that is increasingly relevant in our digital era: the impact of screen time on eye health, particularly concerning macular degeneration (AMD). At Eye Care Group of Southern Oregon, we understand that digital devices are often unavoidable in daily life. Nonetheless, it's important to acknowledge the damage excessive screen time can do and try to reduce the potential risks, especially in the context of AMD.

The Link Between Screen Time and Eye Health

Too much time spent on screens can sometimes lead to a condition known as digital eye strain, characterized by dry eyes, irritation, and fatigue. Fortunately, these temporary symptoms disappear once you’ve stepped away from your device. However, the high-energy visible (HEV) blue light emitted by screens can cause more long-term damage, increasing your risk of developing AMD as you age.

The following tips may help you minimize the short-term and long-term impact of digital screens on your eyes and reduce your risk of AMD:

Wear Special Blue Light Glasses: Speak to our optical team about special glasses you can wear while on digital devices, which filter the majority of blue light from your screen.

Adjust Screen Settings on Your Digital Devices: Opt for lower brightness and set your screen to display in warmer colors. These adjustments can reduce the amount of HEV blue light exposure.

Come in For Regular Eye Exams: Early detection and treatment of AMD is essential, especially in an age where we spend hours on screens every day. Routine check-ups at our local eye care clinic can help monitor your overall eye health and detect early signs of AMD before it causes significant vision loss.

Recognizing Signs of Macular Degeneration

Unfortunately, simply reducing your screen time may not be enough to prevent the development of AMD. That’s why awareness of the signs of macular degeneration is vital. Symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty reading or recognizing faces, and dark areas or distortion in your central vision. If you experience sudden, severe vision loss, it could be a sign of wet macular degeneration, a more severe form of the disease. In such cases, you should come in for an emergency eye exam immediately.

Embracing a Balanced Digital Life for Long-Term Eye Health

While our lives are intertwined with digital screens, adopting practices safeguarding our eye health against potential risks like macular degeneration is important. By using digital devices responsibly and staying vigilant about the signs of AMD, you can enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising your vision.

Let's use this Macular Degeneration Awareness Month to commit to healthier screen habits and ensure our eyes stay healthy and our vision clear despite the strains of our digital age.