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Can too much screen time give you myopia?Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.
What is myopia?
Myopia (short-sightedness) is a refractive error that causes objects in the distance to appear blurry. Myopia can easily be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.
How much time do we spend looking at screens?
You can find out your own screen use by checking the settings on your phone, however you’ll have to take your time on laptops, tablets and computers into account too. The average screen time has steadily been increasing year after year. According to Statista “In 2022, users in the United Kingdom spent an average of four hours and fourteen minutes per day using their mobile devices”.
Can using your phone increase myopia?
Close-work such as staring at your mobile phone, which is typically only a few inches away from our face, can cause eye strain and/or increase the progression of myopia. This is because staring at objects within close range can elongate the eyeballs, which then limits the eye’s ability to refract light, causing vision issues.
Eye strain is a common complaint of those that spend more time in front of screens. When we are concentrating on a screen, our blink-rate rapidly reduces, which can cause digital eye strain and dry eyes as blinks help to replenish much needed moisture to the eyes.
How does screen time affect myopia in children?
In children, increased time spent on digital devices can be more serious, as their eyes are still developing. More children are using computers for online classes as well as to revise/complete homework. This increase in screen use within schools will have an effect on the development of children’s eyes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no screen time at all for children up to 1-years old, and very limited screen time in the years after. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that it’s not just screen time that is to blame for the increase in myopia among the public, it’s all close-work, which includes reading too.
How to engage in screen time safely
Here are some ways you can look after your eyes when you’re working with screens.
Take regular breaks from screens
Practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes try to look into the distance for at least 20 seconds. You can set a timer on your device to remind you to take a break.
Try to consciously blink more throughout screen time, as we often forget to blink enough when we are concentrating. Place a sticky note on the side of your screen reminding you to blink every time you see it.
Try to keep your device at least an arm’s length away from your eyes and slightly below your eyeline. Make sure the brightness isn’t set too high to avoid uncomfortable eye strain.
Avoid screens before bed
This will help you to sleep better, as blue light from digital screens can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and you should be awake. The other benefit of getting more sleep is that your eyes will function better as sleep plays an important role in optimal eye health.
Choose Feel Good Contacts for all your eye care needs
Feel Good Contacts are your one-stop shop for all things eye care. Whether you’re looking for contact lenses to correct myopia or prescription glasses, we’ve got a whole range of popular brands, all at affordable prices. Along with low prices, next day delivery and excellent customer service, you and your friend can both get £5 when you refer a friend to us.
Contact lenses for myopia
Here are our top recommended contact lenses for myopia.
comfi Purest 1 Day
comfi Purest 1 Day are made from silicone hydrogel material for comfort throughout wear. These daily disposable lenses are convenient as they can be thrown away after a full day’s wear.
Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus
Dailies AquaComfort Plus are comfortable daily disposable lenses. Blink-activated technology replenishes your eyes with moisture every time you blink.
1 Day Acuvue Moist
1 Day Acuvue Moist uses Lacreon technology for comfort and hydration during wear. You’ll also benefit from UV protection with these lenses, although UV-protective sunglasses should still be worn alongside all UV protective contact lenses.
MyDay contact lenses are ideal for dry eyes due to their Aquaform technology, they allow a lot of oxygen into the eye for a breathable feel. UV protection, comfortable silicone hydrogel material and the convenience of a daily disposable lens .