Here's How Staring at Screens Affects Your Eyes

Screens are everywhere, but research has been inconclusive as to just how damaging they can be.
Shelby Rogers

From laptops to smartphones to TVs, screens are practically everywhere we go. But how do digital screens affect our eyes? 

Adults in westernized countries spend most of their waking hours staring at screens. American adults, in particular, spend more than 11 hours each day watching, reading, listening, or interacting with screen-based technologies. 

All of that time spent in front of screens led researchers to see just how damaging (or not) screens can be for humans. Several studies agreed that temporary stresses like headaches and eye strain are linked to screen time. However, this video from SciShow pointed out that the results were hazier when it came to the long-term effects of screens on humans. 

When it comes to digital eye strain, there could be several causes. Everything from a bad prescription for lenses to not blinking often enough can trigger digital eye strain. However, most doctors agree it can be fixed with enough rest for your eyes. 

Blue light exposure damage comes from the low wavelength of the light and can lead to cells in the eyes getting damaged through apoptosis. However, most studies surrounding blue light exposure often deal with very concentrated light for extended periods of time. While those studies clearly show the damage of blue light, they don't do it in a real-world capacity.