As the digital age advances, so does our reliance on screens for work, entertainment, and communication. With the introduction of wearable technology like the the Vision Pro, which seamlessly blends virtual and augmented reality experiences, our screen time is expected to increase even further. In this comprehensive exploration, we'll delve into the potential impacts of extended screen time on eye and general health, with a focus on the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.
Understanding the Vision Pro:
The Vision Pro is an innovative mixed-reality headset designed to revolutionise how we interact with digital content. With features like spatial computing and hands-free navigation, it promises to offer immersive experiences without the need for traditional controllers. However, as with any new technology, concerns arise regarding its impact on our well-being, particularly our eye health.
Eye Health Concerns:
With the recent announcement of the Vision Pro, excitement among consumers is palpable as they anticipate the arrival of this ground-breaking headset that seamlessly blends our physical world with the digital realm. However, due to the complexity of this technology and its general use being so close to the eyes, one can’t help but consider the potential implications this innovative technology may have on eye health.
Research indicates that the average UK adult spends approximately 4,866 hours per year glued to screens, equivalent to a staggering 202 days. With the advent of wearable devices like the Vision Pro, which enables users to effortlessly transition between virtual and real environments, this screen time is poised to increase even further. The introduction of spatial computing, where navigation is facilitated through voice, hand gestures, and eye movements, raises concerns about its impact on eye health. The following are some key issues to be aware of:
- Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, encompasses a range of symptoms arising from prolonged screen use. These symptoms include headaches and eye fatigue, which may be exacerbated by the proximity of the device's content.
- Dry eyes are a common consequence of concentrated screen time, as reduced blinking leads to decreased tear production. Regular breaks and the use of artificial tears can help alleviate discomfort and maintain eye lubrication.
- Blue light exposure from the high-resolution display of the device can disrupt sleep patterns by suppressing melatonin production. This can lead to sleep disturbances and impact overall eye health.
- Infrared and LED Exposure from the device's eye tracking system warrants further investigation, as long-term exposure to these electromagnetic waves may have unforeseen effects on eye health.
- Light adaptation poses challenges, particularly for eyeglass wearers, as the snug fit of the device may preclude the use of glasses. This may necessitate a switch to contact lenses, requiring careful handling to avoid potential eye health issues.
How do you ensure proper eye health?
- Remember to blink often to maintain proper tear production.
- Take regular breaks from screens, following the 20-20-20 rule — every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet (ca. 6 metres) away for 20 seconds.
- Limit your usage or screen time before going to bed to minimise disruptions to sleep patterns.
- Use blue light filters or screen protectors to reduce exposure to harmful blue light emitted by screens.
- Gradually adjust to changes in lighting conditions when transitioning from the Apple Vision Pro to the surrounding environment.
- Consider using artificial tears like I-DEW eye drops (specifically LOC Tears Professional) to help alleviate any discomfort or dryness experienced during the adjustment period, ensuring continued comfort and eye health.
- Maintain eye health with a diverse diet rich in leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens, along with omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
- Stay active to maintain a healthy body weight, reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes that can affect vision.
- Notice changes in vision? Don't hesitate to consult an optician or eye doctor to address any eye concerns promptly.
- Protect your eyes by avoiding smoking, as it poses serious risks to eye health and can lead to blindness.
As we embark on this exciting journey into the realm of spatial computing, let us do so with a steadfast commitment to keeping our eyes and well-being at the forefront of our minds. By fostering a culture of responsible usage and prioritising our health, we can fully embrace the transformative potential of wearable technology while ensuring that our bodies and minds remain healthy and resilient for years to come.