Combat Eye Strain With These 5 Mobile Apps

The perils of spending too much time on our laptops, phones, and other electronic devices has been well-documented (we even wrote our own article on the dangers) However, blue light exposure seems to be a hallmark of working during the digital age; studies show that as many as 50%-90% of adults suffer from some form of eye strain, otherwise known as computer vision syndrome. This has become a seemingly inevitable quality of 21st century life, causing many sufferers to experience blurry vision and headaches, among other symptoms.

Fortunately, this hasn't gone unnoticed by ophthalmogists, optometrists, and programmers. There a number of apps available thatreduce the harm caused to one's vision-and can even strengthen it in some cases.

Here are 5 we checked out:

1. Twilight: This app is a favorite because not only does it reduce the amount of blue light you're exposed to, it also helps with a restful night's sleep, too. Studies have shown that exposure to blue light can interfere with one's circadian rhythms, essentially the built-in "biological clock" that tells your brain it's time to go to bed. Because blue light mimics the sun rays we're exposed to during the day, staying up late on your phone or laptop can interfere with sleeping patterns. Twilight creates an overlay allowing you to control the amount of blue light coming through your device, and can adjust automatically depending on the time of day.

2. EyeXam: Available on both Apple and Android, EyeXam yields a collection of vision care tools. The app includes a free self-guided vision screening and also acts as a directory for nearby optometrists. While this app has great potential, a clunky UI and a limited scope for the features (such as selection of doctors) holds it back, although the team is constantly working on improvements.

3. Amsler Grid: Do you have diabetes and want to do an eye check, but it'll be aw while before seeing your eye doctor? This app contains a number of charts that test your visual acuity as well as detecting early signs of macular degeneration.

4. Eye Exercises/Eye Care Plus: There are a number of eye exercise apps on the market, but few are as user friendly and visually appealing as this one. Users have reported improvement in their near sightedness and blurriness, symptoms often caused by CVS. It also has an abundance of eye information, from an eye health FAQ to recipes incorporating eye healthy ingredients.

5. 20 twenty 20: One of the best ways to reduce or prevent eye strain is by taking frequent breaks from our screens. However, we often get distracted or lost in projects and can forget to eat lunch, much less rest our eyes. 20 twenty 20 picks up the slack and sets a timer reminding you to take those breaks. As a bonus, it includes a beautiful interface and great customization options, including a night mode that filters out blue light in the evening hours

In addition to these apps, a number of extensions for Chrome and Firefox are also stepping in. While CVS is difficult to avoid because of our 21st century lifestyles, it can be managed using the same platforms responsible for eye strain in the first place.