Digital devices have impacted our world in so many positive ways, allowing us to connect, work, play and get information at the speed of light. But all of this good brings with it a measure of concern: Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome.
Focusing on your vision on digital devices for long periods can cause eye fatigue and eyestrain. In fact, up to 70% of North American adults suffer from symptoms of Digital Eye Strain which include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Sore eyes
- Dry or watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Neck, shoulder or back pain
In addition to these symptoms, emerging research shows that blue light from digital devices causes sleep disturbances by interfering with the REM cycle of sleep.
As people move from their computer to their tablet to their phone, more and more of these symptoms are being seen, and in younger and younger people.
How They Work
Computer glasses reduce eye strain by adjusting the focus slightly so your eyes feel like they are focusing on something further away. They also have a tint to remove the glare and block blue light from entering into your eyes.
Finding the Right Pair
There are a number of companies that make computer glasses, some that are designed for device users without a prescription or that would wear the glasses with contact lenses. Other manufacturers provide options to incorporate vision prescriptions into the lens.
When shopping for computer glasses you want to make sure you find the right pair. The eyewear should sit nicely on your face and provide a comfortable tint.
- Single Vision Computer Glasses: Provide the optimum lens power and field of view for viewing your computer screen without straining or leaning in to reduce symptoms of CVS. These are ideal for when the computer is at a fixed working distance, and work well if the user needs to view multiple screens at the same working distance.
- Office Lenses or Progressive Lenses: No-line multifocal eyewear that can be made to correct near, intermediate and some distance vision with a larger intermediate zone for computer vision if indicated. Perfect for those with presbyopia which is the gradual loss of focusing ability that occurs naturally with age. Office lenses work like progressive lenses but provide a wider field of view for intermediate (1-3 m) viewing distance and near working distance (about 40 cm).
- Blue-Blocking Lenses: Definitely recommended for this electronic age, blue-blocking lenses block blue light emitted from computer screens that is associated with glare, eye strain and possible sleep disturbances.
- Anti-glare and filtering coatings (treatments): Eliminate reflections from the surfaces of your lens to reduce eye strain and discomfort from glare. Some coatings can also block blue light emitted from computer screens.
Children and Computer Glasses
Children are using digital devices more than ever and this trend will only continue as smartphones take over and tablet and computer-based learning increases. Their use extends well beyond the school day as well, as they use computers for homework and gaming and smartphones to text with their friends.
Computer glasses should be used for kids preventatively before eye strain begins to keep their eyes healthy longer and prevent nearsightedness.
Don’t wait for eye strain to affect you and your family members. Take computer vision syndrome seriously and ask your eye doctor about how computer glasses can help.