Photo: Licensed by the author on iStock.com
Ever since I went through laser-eye surgery last year, I noticed dark circles under my eyes. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t let go. I tried to sleep better; I tried to eat healthier; I even tried to drink a ton of water.
The circles relentlessly remained under my eyes.
After so long reading articles and watching videos online, I realized that one thing that would probably improve my life quality is blocking blue light from the screens I stare at all day long. I might be wrong, and perhaps I need to change my lifestyle a bit, but the points I’m going to share with you are valid regardless of the effects of Blue-Light.
Here’s what I found.
Your Day Job Involves Computer Work
I am a software engineer, and I sit in front of a computer all day long-nine hours on a regular day, more on busier days.
I find myself going to wash my face many times during the day when I feel my eyes are dry. When I wake up in the morning, they are puffy from the night’s sleep, but as I work, I find that they “sink” in further, and the dark circles look a lot more visible.
That is, allegedly, because my screen emits blue light, and my eyes can’t handle it very well. There are conflicting research results about the effects of blue light.
Regardless of blue light, I need to find a compromise here. Staring at a computer all day long — blue light or no — can’t be good for my eyes.
So, one solution I’m thinking of is doing the Anno method. What’s the Anno method? Well, Anno is a city-building video game I like very much. They have a feature that after you’ve been playing for two hours (because that game sucks up your time like a black hole), there’s a notification that pops up, and a voice says, “how about a cup of coffee? You’ve been playing for two hours!”
The same happens when you go further into four hours, by the way.
I’ll use that method to make sure I’m not sitting in front of my computer for too long.
Your Smartphone Sucks Up Your Time
I have an iPhone and an iPad that I use and use my computer at work.
I would sometimes find myself spending 10–20 minutes just scrolling through videos on TikTok. It isn’t good, I know.
And of course, I go to bed with my iPad watching a video or something before I fall asleep as well.
My iPhone tells me that I had an average of 4.5 hours of screen time in the week before writing this article. That’s in addition to working in front of my computer for nine hours. I spend about twelve-thirteen hours out of the seventeen that I’m awake in front of a screen (I’m considering that some of that time is spent within my workday as they are not mutually exclusive).
You’re Not Taking Care of Your Body
I started doing walks outside only in the last few days. When I’m sitting all day to work and then sitting some more as I invest time in my writing and stuff like that, my legs ache uniquely. It’s not the type of ache that happens after a good exercise; it’s the ache that feels like cutting five years off your life because that’s what will happen if I keep up with this lifestyle.
I also don’t drink a lot of clear water. As a software engineer, I need caffeine and lots of it. So, I either drink coffee or drink Coke-Zero.
Drinking clear water instead provides lubrication for the eyes in the form of tears, and they strain less. But, I’m not crazy about stopping caffeine cold-turkey. I have a headache just from imagining the headaches that will cause.
But, when I tried to get rid of my dark circles, I decided to drink more water. That might not have changed my life, but looking back, I remember not feeling the dryness in my eyes as much as I feel it nowadays.
So, I decided to have a drinking bottle near my desk, and no matter what else I drink that day, I need to at least drink this 1 liter of clear water, too.
That way, at least I’m providing my body with some of the fluids I lose when I drink caffeinated drinks.
As we rely more and more on technology in today's world, it becomes harder to detox from screens. I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to be more aware of their bodies and understand how to keep them healthy.
Maybe you can’t change your lifestyle so much that you’ll be only a fraction of the time in front of screens, I certainly can’t. That means we have to find some other means to fix our lives. I don’t know if it will work, but I bought Blue-Light Glasses from Amazon for less than $20. I will report on them after they arrive and share my findings with you.
And aside from that, I’m going to try and limit my screen-time as an overall rule. No more than 90 minutes straight in front of a screen without taking a break. We’ll see how that works out for me.
Do you also have strained eyes? How do you take care of yourself? I’m curious to learn more about what other people do.
Let’s talk about it!