Do you have tired eyes? You’re not alone. According to The Vision Council, almost 80% of us are looking at screens for more than two hours a day. Their researchers found that 59% of U.S. adults now report digital eye strain (DES). It’s not just phones, or laptops, but televisions, transit information screens – even some kitchen appliances come equipped with digital information screens.
If you’re worried about your vision, definitely talk to your primary care provider, and get a referral for an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) near you. Vision problems can exacerbate as we get older and children with undiagnosed eye issues can find school even more difficult than most.
Melissa Anzelmo, a senior marketing designer, wears blue light glasses. We stopped by her desk to ask her why she wears them, when she started doing so and if they help.
Melissa – give us your eyesight backstory.
Well, I started wearing contacts in high school, at about the age of 17, to correct my vision. They really dried out my eyes, so as soon as I could I got Lasik surgery when I was about 22.
Which looks kinda scary.
[Laughs] It was really creepy. You’re awake while they do it. A bright light is shining in your eyes. I described it to friends as akin to an alien abduction.
Wild. But you’re happy you did it?
Oh yes, the best decision I ever made.
But now you’re wearing glasses too.
These are just for when I’m looking at the screen. They don’t alter my vision itself, but they reduce my exposure to blue light.
When did you first hear about blue light glasses?
About a year ago. My job basically entails staring at a computer for the entire day. My eyes were getting exhausted and it started to cause migraines.
Painful. How did you find out about the blue light glasses?
I didn’t want to rely on eye drops, or start using pills to relieve migraines. So I did my research and saw that the National Institutes of Health had published reports which validated their efficacy. I then ordered a pair online to test them – and never looked back.
You don’t get headaches anymore?
No, not at all.
Are they just for work?
For now, yes. I just wear them in the office, as that’s where I spend most of my time looking at a computer screen.
You don’t pop them on to check Instagram on your phone?
I don’t – because there’s a night-time setting on my iPhone which helps diffuse the blue light into something warmer, and easier on the eyes.
Do you recommend them to people with tired eyes?
I really do. I completely recommend them, they help me so much.
Thanks for that, Melissa.
Tips to soothe tired eyes
- Regular rest: The American Optometric Association recommends doing a “20-20-20.” Set a timer to ping you every 20 minutes to look away from the screen at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds
- Smartphone fixes: Check out the settings on your smartphone to reduce exposure to blue light as evening draws in. How? Click Settings – display/brightness – Night Shift on an iPhone.
- Switch out bulbs: Try “reduced-blue” LED bulbs in the bedroom. They’ll seem warmer and soothing to tired eyes.
- Use the off switch: At a certain time each night, turn off (yes, completely) your smartphone and leave it until morning, so you’re not tempted to check your horoscope for tomorrow at 3 a.m. (as if).
- Banish screens from the bedroom: Do you really need a flat-screen television at the foot of your bed? Make your sleep setting a sanctuary and leave screens in the den.
- Test out some blue light blocking glasses: We couldn’t find a definitive guide to the best ones, so check out these, and make sure you read a cross-section of customer reviews first.