Have you ever considered the impact modern life has on you and your family’s sight and hearing? Many of us have spent the last six months working from home, taking fewer screen breaks than we would in an office, while children have also used technology more than ever to engage with home schooling, keep in touch with friends and keep entertained during lockdown. This increased time on laptops, tablets, games consoles and phones soon adds up to many hours per day, and it is having a damaging effect on our eyes.
Alongside this, we increasingly wear ear buds, or use similar audio equipment, to listen to music or while we’re streaming movies and tv shows. While the quality of listening through these new technological developments is better than ever, the volume of sound being received straight into the ear canal can damage our hearing.
Facts about sight and hearing loss
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 460 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss and that number is expected to almost double by 2050. This jump is not an issue of aging alone. The WHO warns that more than 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk of hearing loss, likely due to unhealthy noise exposure.
There is concerning news for our eyes too. The Royal College of Optometrists recently reported that 22% of British people noticed their vision getting worse during lockdown and 32% believe that spending more time in front of screens has worsened their eyesight. You can read more about their study here.
Using a screen for a prolonged amount of time is widely known to be harmful to the eyes, causing dry eyes, nearsightedness and even leading to Age related Macular Degeneration – a leading cause of blindness.
Start making a difference today!
At Deafblind UK, we know the long term affects of losing your sight and hearing are devastating. So, what can we all start doing today to show our eyes and ears some love and held prevent lifelong damage? Here are a few simple hints and tips!
- The 20/20/20 rule for your eyes: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second screen break and focus your eyes on something 20 metres away.
- The 60/60 rule for your ears: Never listen at more than 60% of your device’s maximum volume and limit the amount of time you spend using earbuds to 60 minutes at a time. To help, many devices can be set to not exceed 60% volume.
- If other people can hear what you are listening to while you are wearing ear buds… it’s too loud!
- Try some eye exercises! There are lots available online, but here are a few to get you started.
- Book a sight and hearing test: many high street opticians offer both.
- Read our blog post for more ideas!
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