Too much screen time can lead to symptoms such as headaches, neck/shoulder pain, eye strain/dry eyes, grogginess/changes in sleep patterns and much more. Here are 3 simple ways to reduce your blue light exposure to keep you feeling like your best self:
1: Avoid screen time before bed.
Blue light is something that has gained a lot of attention in the last few years. The research suggests that exposure to artificial blue light right before bed can suppress the release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Many of our post-concussion and migraine patients are put on a no-screen protocol in order to eliminate artificial blue light and let these brain areas recover to reduce symptoms. We suggest not using screens (TV, phone, iPad etc) for at least 1 hour before bed.
2: Take breaks from screen time
Most people understand they need to take breaks from their screens every hour or two. It becomes challenging when you have a job that requires you to stare at a computer for 8 or more hours per day. Although breaks are crucial, what you can do in between each break is wear a pair of blue light blocking glasses. These glasses filter out the blue light from your computer screen so you can work for longer sessions without as much eye strain. Most new brands no longer have yellow lenses and the new frames are much more stylish.
Another option, if you don’t wish to wear glasses, is to download a computer program that will change the color of your screen while you’re working to eliminate blue colors. Our favorite program is called F.lux and is a “set it and forget it” type of app. It will run in the background, changing the hues on your computer screen from bluish to an orange/pink as the day goes on and the sun begins to set. The program is easily disabled if you have to do work involving color such as graphic design etc.
3: Get your brain checked out!
The systems that receive blue light are common areas that are damaged after a concussion or whiplash injury. Some patients can develop extreme sensitivity to light (and sometimes sound) when these areas are not working optimally. A comprehensive neurological evaluation is recommended if you are having light sensitivity or eye strain related to a concussion or even classic migraine headaches behind or around your eyes.