Better Productivity. Better Sleep. Guaranteed - 30 Day Free Returns

Why Does Blink Rate Slow During Computer Use

November 10, 2017

Why Does Blink Rate Slow During Computer Use

Digital Eye Strain (DES) isn’t just caused by Blue Light. We wish it was, because then our glasses could totally solve the problem! Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that make your eyes tired and your productivity plummet by causing DES. One of the contributors can be the reduced blink rate which occurs during screen use. We know that blink rate can decrease by as much as a factor of 5 during screen use, but why?

 

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, recently published a study that explores how our blink rates may actually change due to the type of task in which we are engaging.

 

The study, conducted by Edmund Wascher, Holger Heppner, Tina Möckel, Sven Oliver Kobald, and Stephan Getzmann, provides the below incredibly insightful assertions:

 

“In general, blink rate decreases when more attention is required to perform a task... This is also underlined by the fact that blink rate increases with accumulating habituation to a certain task… All these findings indicate that blinks may be related to visual information processing. It appears plausible that blinks are not executed as long as information has to be processed.”

 

It’s important to note, however, that concentration is only one portion of several factors that contribute to reduced blink rate while using a screen. Blink rate is also reduced by the very nature of our focusing on something so close to our eyes with such intent. That said, this level of concentration during computer usage is a primary factor in reduced blinking.

 

Given the above, it makes sense that while concentrating on a task such as writing, computing in Excel, or digesting new information in order to complete our work in this digitally addicted age would decrease blink rate. Blinking, which refreshes the tear layer protecting our eyes and gives a brief respite to the muscles in our eyes, is important to the comfort of our vision. The less we blink, the longer our eyes are exposed to Blue Light. When we are concentrating during our daily grind it is not surprising then that blinking, or lack thereof, contributes to Digital Eye Strain. This is why the 20/20/20 rule (every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds) is so important. Further, if you are someone who is truly addicted and using a screen more than 10 hours a day, it is recommended that you raise your blink rate and protect your eyes by using lubricating or refreshing eye drops during those work sessions that you know to be exceptionally grueling.





Also in PupilBlog

How Long is Too Long?
How Long is Too Long?

November 17, 2017

The risks of Digital Eye Strain, also known as Computer Visions Syndrome, come with “over-use” or “over-exposure” to Blue Light. But what truly is over-exposure? How much screen time is too much screen time?

Continue Reading

Two Creeping Health Dangers in the Office
Two Creeping Health Dangers in the Office

November 03, 2017

If we missed the dangers of smoking and asbestos before, what we are missing now? Here are some health risks that are just now becoming suspicious, and surround something many of us do: working on a computer.

Continue Reading

Lack of Sleep is Killing Us
Lack of Sleep is Killing Us

October 23, 2017

Sleep is important. We know that. But recent research has shown that it may be even more important than we thought, and more startlingly, that poor sleep habits could be dangerous.

Continue Reading

Pupilbox Lens Protection Levels

Casually Connected

400-420nm

Adults looking at a screen less than 8 hours per day

Digitally Addicted

400-450nm

Adults and children concerned about eye health

Sleep

400-484nm

Block Blue Light at night to sleep