Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome

Digital devices are increasingly used for work, studies, and leisure in our daily lives. Consequently, computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, is on the rise.

Symptoms include eye strain, blurry vision, difficulty focusing, headache, dry eyes, red or watering eyes, fatigue, and double vision. This is exacerbated when there is an uncorrected eye condition such as farsightedness, presbyopia or astigmatism, but can also occur in those with perfect vision.

Many digital devices are positioned a short distance away from our eyes, such as phones, laptops, and handheld games. Thus, our eyes are focusing on a single distance for hours at a time and the eye muscles must remain engaged without rest. It's similar to holding your arms straight up in the air—you probably won’t feel uncomfortable right away, but after a few hours, your arm muscles would fatigue and become sore.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Looking at digital screens can decrease a person’s blink rate by 66 percent.

Blinking is important to keep the cornea lubricated, remove debris, and bring nutrients, minerals and oils to the surface of the eye. Much research has been focusing on the meibomian glands, and studies show that increased screen time, even in children, is associated with damage to these glands, resulting in dry eye disease. We’ve recently invested in high-definition Meibomian Gland Imaging Technology so we can screen patients for damage before symptoms arise.

There's also the contribution of blue light, which increases eye strain and disrupts melatonin release, which can negatively affect sleep. Anti-fatigue lenses are specifically designed to allow the eye muscles to relax while on digital devices, as well as block the blue light they emit.

The world and the way we use our eyes has changed dramatically over the past decade.

At Optomeyes, we want to educate people, but also let them know that early detection is important and that we have invested in the technology to assess harm and interventions to reduce it. People who are using screens for the majority of their workday should come in for assessment.

Digital Strain prevention tips:

  • Position your screen at arm’s length and 20-degrees below eye level
  • Keep room lighting the same brightness as your screen
  • Use computer glasses which can relax the muscles in the eyes, minimize glare with anti-reflective coating, and utilize a blue blocking filter, a special coating that prevents the high intensity light emitted by screens from entering your eyes
  • 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes take a 20-second break to look 20 feet away
  • Blink often and fully
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