The Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time on Vision – and Overall – Health

How much time do you spend each day looking at a digital screen? You might be surprised by how much time is spent looking at a computer screen, television, phone, or tablet. What might also surprise you is how far we exceed the recommended hours. AMBA is here to provide the information you need and help you care for your eyes and overall health.

Why Excessive Screen Time Can Affect Your Vision

Our eyes need to focus and move more when looking at screens. As a result, screen usage can contribute to eye health issues. Additionally, the constant exposure to blue light, standard in many digital devices, can make our eyes extremely sensitive to light.

Digital eye strain symptoms (computer vision syndrome) include mild discomfort, dryness, and irritation. But more severe issues can also occur:

  • Eye fatigue can cause double vision and concentration difficulties.
  • Decreased focus flexibility can impact your ability to adjust your sight to see at all distances.
  • Prolonged exposure to LEDs can cause irreversible loss of retinal cells and may lead to a loss in vision sharpness.
  • Although it’s rare for nearsightedness to get worse as we age, there are exceptions.

Our vision’s health also plays a significant role in our overall health. Additional issues excessive screen time can cause include headaches, brain fog, and sleep-related issues, including insomnia.

How You Can Protect Your Eyes

You can take steps to protect your eyes with these 5 steps.

  • Adjust your screen brightness. Dimming your screens can make a significant difference.
  • Get enough sleep: Turn off your devices at least one hour before bed.
  • Keep a safe distance:  Try keeping your screen about 4-5 inches below eye level and 20-28 inches from your eyes.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 Rule: Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Blink: Take a break, step away from the screen, and blink or fully close your eyes for approximately a minute. If the irritation continues, eye drops can help.

Another vital way to help protect your eyes is to visit your eye doctor. Eye exams help your eye care provider check your vision’s health and determine if any eye conditions may be developing. NCRGEA and AMBA have a comprehensive Vision Plan at affordable rates. The benefits of this plan include annual WellVision checkups, 100% coverage for most lenses (even progressives!), and thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at or call 800-956-1228.


Four Tips for Eye Health in Today’s Digital World

Americans spend a whopping 4 hours and 25 minutes each day on their mobile devices. That doesn’t even include the time spent watching television, working on a computer, or other digital screens. It’s official: We live in a digital world. Unfortunately, your eye health can suffer from all of the increased time on digital devices. Though minimizing screen time is the most obvious solution, it isn’t necessarily the easiest. However, these tips can help keep your eyes healthy.

1) Adjust computer position

If you view your screen too close to your eyes, you’re risking straining your vision. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 40 inches from the eye to the screen. If reading from that distance is difficult, most smartphones and computer screens allow you to adjust the text size, which can help, especially if your device has a with smaller screen.

Likewise, if your screen is higher than eye level, you could be straining your eyes unnecessarily. That’s because a muscle outside of the eye is used to facilitate reading when monitors are above eye level. Eyes naturally need to come down and in versus around and up, so position your screens to your eye level or below.

2) Adjust computer and workplace lighting

Your screen’s brightness and sharpness should be maximized to best match your surroundings and maintain a similarity to the environment around you. When lighting your workspace, natural light is the ideal option. Also, traditional incandescent lightbulbs are kinder to eyes than their fluorescent counterparts.

3) Look away from your screen   

A two-pound weight is easy to hold at first. However, eventually, your arm will become strained from holding it. The same goes for eyes looking at a screen. To give your eyes relief, use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away or more for at least 20 seconds. This exercise forces muscles to relax and increases blinking.

 4) Prevent dry eye

Between screen time, air-conditioning and artificial lighting, dry eye is a major issue. Dry eye can start off as a minor annoyance, but can lead to redness, discomfort, increased risk of infection, and more. Artificial tears and getting plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help to reduce dry eye.

As use of digital devices continues to increase among people of all ages, keeping your eye health in mind is increasingly important. Another important step to make sure your eyes remain healthy is with regular checkups with your eye doctor. NCRGEA and AMBA offer an affordable Vision Plan. The plan provides comprehensive coverage with low copays for important services, including coverage for a WellVision exam every 12 months, as well as big savings on eyewear, contacts, and lenses. Sign up now at or call 800-956-1228.


Do Sunglasses Really Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy?

We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect our skin from prolonged exposure to the sun. What many people don’t realize or neglect to do is to take an equal amount of precaution to protect their eyes. Sunglasses are more than just a cool fashion statement or way to keep the sun out of your eyes on bright days.

Four Reasons To Wear Sunglasses More Often

1) You Immediately See the Difference

From the moment you put them on, sunglasses provide instant relief from the sun’s brightness and glare. Polarized lenses cut down on the sun’s harsh glare.

And it’s not just the sun’s intense rays that sunglasses protect your eyes from. As a physical barrier, sunglasses protect from wind, blowing dust, sand, and other airborne debris that could irritate your eyes and even scratch the cornea, which could cause permanent damage.

2) Protection Against Ultra-Violet Rays

In rain or shine, the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays are always present every day of the year. In fact, water, snow, and car windshields can reflect light into the eyes. So, if you’re in a car, on a boat, or around snow you’re getting a double dose of UV rays on a sunny day – the direct exposure from the sun and a second exposure from the reflected light.

It doesn’t matter how dark or the color of the lenses of the sunglasses. The most important thing is that they block 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. A pair of high-quality sunglasses t can make the difference between enjoying a pleasant outdoor activity or damaging your eyes.

3) Prevent Sun-Related Eye Disease

Daily exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays over the course of years will significantly increase your risk for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, or other eye conditions. The sun’s rays can also cause eye cancer and a condition called pterygium, a growth of excess tissue on the eyeball. Fortunately, there’s a simple, convenient way to reduce the risk whenever you’re outside: wear sunglasses.

4) Avoid Headaches or Migraines

The sun’s bright light can trigger people who suffer from migraines or painful headaches. Wearing a high-quality pair of sunglasses that blocks out the sun’s light and protects your eyes is an effective, proven deterrent.

Select sunglasses with dark, high-quality lenses if you’re prone to such headaches.

How To Look and See Your Best

Sunglasses are an essential part of summer and lifelong health! If you need a new pair, then the Vision Plan from NCRGEA and AMBA is perfect for you. The plan has so many benefits for members, including coverage for a wide variety of sunglasses that look great and offer all of the protective elements you need to keep seeing your best for years to come! The plan covers an annual WellVision exam, 100% coverage for most lenses, even progressives, and thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Plus, the plan has NO WAITING PERIOD for covered services. Members, sign up today or call 800-956-1228.


Five Common Myths About Eye Health

As we age, the risks for vision loss from eye disease increase. Unfortunately, many people rely on outdated conventional wisdom or random online searches to get answers to important eye-related health issues. Here are five common eye health misconceptions and the answers you need to help protect your vision and prevent vision loss.

Eye Health Myths

#1: You only need an eye exam if you feel pain.

Fact: Most eye diseases, like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), have no early warning signs or symptoms. By the time a change in vision is noticed, the damage can be irreversible. Regardless of symptoms, regular eye exams are essential in protecting sight.

#2: Computer screens will ruin your eyesight.

Fact: While it is true long hours spent in front of computer and phone screens can cause eyes to feel tired and strained for a variety of reasons, including the tendency to blink less frequently. But thorough research and data prove that computer, tablet, and phone screens are not responsible for any permanent damage to vision.

#3: All sunglasses are the same.

Fact: Ultraviolet rays can increase your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Since UV damage is cumulative, you should always protect from the sun. Make sure sunglasses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and wear them whenever you’re outdoors. To provide additional protection from UV damage, you can also wear a hat and stay in the shade as well.

#4: Vision loss is an inevitable result of aging.

Fact: If you catch eye disease early and take steps to protect your vision, vision loss and many diseases can be prevented. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes staying active, getting proper nutrition, and practicing other smart habits will help protect your vision as you age.

#5: If you got your eyes screened when you got new glasses or contacts, you don’t need an eye exam.

Keeping your eyes as healthy as possible requires regular checkups with an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Eye exams for new glasses only check your prescription. Only a dilated eye exam will reveal the entire eye and detect signs of eye disease. Even if you recently got a new prescription for glasses or contacts, you might still need a dilated eye exam.

Taking proper care of our eyes is essential to preserve good vision and healthy eyes as we age.
That’s why the Vision Plan from NCRGEA and AMBA is so important. The plan provides comprehensive coverage with low copays for important services, including coverage for a WellVision exam every 12 months, as well as big savings on eyewear, contacts, and lenses. Sign up now at or call 866-979-0497.