Have your eyes ever felt strained, blurry or dry after spending time on the computer? Do you experience headaches or neck pain after sitting in front of a screen? You’re not alone.
Nearly 70% of Americans experience similar discomfort after two or more hours in front of a digital screen, a problem which is collectively referred to as digital eye strain.
The number of adults experiencing digital eye strain has increased over the past decade, primarily due to an increased reliance on digital devices like computers, tablets and smartphones. By using these products, our eyes are forced to stare at an object in mid-distance range, a field of view that is not ideal – or normal – for our eyes!
Digital eye strain can be exacerbated in people with vision problems like astigmatism, farsightedness and presbyopia. For these individuals, the eyes are forced to deal with an existing abnormality, while at the same time focusing on the complexity of digital content. And, many corrective glasses don’t bring mid-distance objects into perfect focus.
Recent studies also suggest that overexposure to high-energy visible (HEV) light, more commonly known as blue light, can damage the retina over time. Some experts argue that blue light can breakdown the eye’s protective field, eventually progressing low vision disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
The good news is that whether you’re suffering from preexisting vision problems, or hope to avoid low vision issues in the future, computer glasses can help minimize digital eye strain and filter out potentially harmful blue light. Computer glasses feature specialized lenses that:
• Bring intermediate-distance objects (e.g. computer screen) into focus
• Relax eyes through a modified lens power, which provides a large field of view
• Use anti-reflective coating to soften the glare of harsh indoor and outdoor lighting and Improve the contrast of digital content
• Filter HEV or blue light from reaching the eye
Computer glasses are available in prescription and nonprescription, with the option to purchase single vision lenses or progressive lenses.
The Vision Council recommends working with an eye care provider to find a pair of glasses that meet your specific needs. Before your visit, measure the distance between your eyes and the screen you typically use and be prepared to discuss any preexisting conditions that will play a role in your visual acuity.
For more information about digital eye strain, visit The Vision Council online at www.thevisioncouncil.org.