In an age of persistent connectivity, our smartphones are our livelihood. Due to a recent surge in influencer subculture, a growing number of people require access to their devices 24/7 in order to make a living. This blurs the boundaries between work and home life and can lead to the onset of some pretty serious health conditions down the line. Knowing when and how to curb your screen time can reduce your dependence on your device and boost your mental and physical health over time. Continue reading to find out what symptoms of screen fatigue you should be on the lookout for.
- Impaired Vision
One of the earliest symptoms of screen fatigue is impaired or compromised vision. A few minutes in front of the One of the earliest symptoms of screen fatigue is impaired or compromised vision. A few minutes in front of the computer or glued to our smartphone is all it takes to trigger a number of worrying warning signs that can materialize in our peepers. Persistent eye strain can cause blurry vision. This usually disappears in a matter of hours but can point to an underlying problem if left untreated over a prolonged period of time. As eye strain builds up over time, it can become difficult to recover your vision and restore full functionality to your eyes. This can have a lasting impact on your eyesight and may require corrective lenses to rectify. An eye exam or regular eye tests will be able to identify any underlying or serious eye conditions. There are also several apps available designed to readjust your sleep schedule and achieve maximum functionality throughout the day. These sleep apps can calculate sleep debt and help you regain control of your circadian rhythm. Using a pair of contact lenses with blue light technology from https://www.contactlenses.co.uk can also help protect your eyes from your day-to-day screen use.
- Bloodshot eyes
Bloodshot eyes are a tell-tale sign of screen fatigue. Eyes become bloodshot when they are irritated by a range of external stimulants. This can include pollen, dust, smoke, and mould. Eyes are also susceptible to extreme dryness as a result of excess screen time and this can lead to bloodshot eyes over time. This can be a scary sight at first but can be managed and even healed with immediate intervention and the right degree of long-term treatment. Websites or apps that make you sleepy may be able to prevent the onset of red or bloodshot eyes. Persistent screen use after the onset of burst blood vessels in your eyes or ignoring the severity of the problem can lead to additional complications down the line.
- Double vision
Double vision, or diplopia, is one of the most serious symptoms of screen fatigue and should not be ignored no matter how minor the problem appears at first. It occurs when your eyes struggle to focus on one object at any given time. Double vision is common after a traumatic head injury as it signifies one or more pathways have been severed somewhere along the way. This can occur as a result of excess screen time as the tiny muscles in your eyes find it difficult to maintain a sense of focus and concentration. You may be suffering from double vision if you find yourself narrowing or squinting in an attempt to see better. You may also cover one eye with your hand or turn or tilt your head. You may also unintentionally look at others from the side of your eyes as opposed to facing forward. Double vision can lead to swelling and even partial or full blindness over time.
- Itchy eyes
Itchy eyes are normal but uncontrollable itching may point to an underlying health condition. Persistent screen time can lead to dry, dehydrated eyes that lack moisture. Itchiness may not necessarily present a problem but the compulsion to continue itching your eyes can lead to a number of serious health conditions. This can include scratched corneas, eye infections, styes, and even permanent vision loss over time. Resist the urge to itch your eyes by cutting down on your daily screen time and treating them with a frequent dose of over-the-counter anti-allergy eye drops. This can restore moisture loss and moisturise your eyelids. A hot or cold compress or steeped tea bag may also relieve the irritation and provide some welcome relief.
- A sore neck
A stiff, sore neck can materialise as a result of being held in an irregular position for a prolonged period of time. When we scroll on our phone, we tend to fixate our necks in a position that can cause them to lock into place. This can strain and inflame the muscle tension in the back of our neck and lead to what is known as a crick. This can worsen over time and affect our ability to function in our day to day lives. Neck pain can also be triggered by poor posture. Ensure your device is situated at eye level and at a relatively close distance from your body. A screen that is too high or too low can cause a range of ergonomic injuries such as repetitive strain syndrome and carpel tunnel syndrome.
A migraine is much more than a bad headache. It can be debilitating for those suffering on a regular basis and can have an impact on their ability to focus on the simplest of tasks. Even if you are unfamiliar with the excruciating pain of a migraine, focusing on a screen for too long or with no breaks can be enough to trigger one. Migraines can trigger the onset of a series of symptoms that can be just as agonising. This can include intense nausea, vertigo, and blurred vision. It can also last for a number of days and be difficult to treat if not nursed at the earliest possible opportunity. Adults tend to be more prone to eye strain and migraines than children. This is due to less flexibility in the eyes and fluctuating hormone levels in the body. The link between migraines and prolonged screen time has been proven time and time again. Adjusting the brightness levels or font size of your smart device may protect you from developing frequent migraines. You must also listen to your body and take regular breaks when you begin to feel the warning signs of a migraine.
- Light sensitivity
Light sensitivity, or photophobia, occurs when the eyes have been sustained to incessant fluorescent, incandescent or blue light. It can also materialise as a result of a migraine. This type of lighting can be found on our smartphone and television screens. It can cause sufferers to blink or look away when exposed to bright or indoor light. Reducing exposure to these types of lighting can significantly reduce your sensitivity to light and even cure the problem altogether. Monitor your daily screen time to reduce your chances of developing photophobia.
Screen fatigue is a growing problem. With work and social activities being fed to us via our smartphones on a daily basis, we rely on them more than we ever have before. Most people are glued to their smart devices 24/7 but unaware of the impact this is having on their health and wellbeing. By familiarising yourself with the dangers of excess screen time, you can take the necessary steps to intervene and protect your peepers today.