Computer Vision Syndrome and Blue Light Protection
Squinting at computer, tablet, or mobile screens for hours at a time is a normal part of our lives in the 21st century. Unfortunately, eye problems associated with this activity are also on the rise. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed computer vision syndrome symptoms after two or more hours of screen time.
- Blurry vision
- Eye strain and discomfort
- Dry, scratchy eyes
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
Diagnosis and Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome
The severity and length of computer vision syndrome symptoms depends on how long you stare at the computer, your posture, lighting, glare, the angle of the monitor, and whether or not you have other diagnosed or undiagnosed vision problems. Many regular eyeglasses and contact lenses are not designed to deflect the problems caused by computer screens.
For people with otherwise normal eyes and vision, a set of specially-designed glasses used during the time you are working on the computer can be very helpful. For patients already wearing contacts or glasses, new, more computer-friendly prescriptions are available. In addition to these treatment options, there are many things we can suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems:
- Computer setup—Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated between 20-28 inches away from the screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between the monitor and keyboard, or to the side, but positioned for as little head movement as possible. Also invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to help reduce glare from surrounding lights. Be sure to sit and work with proper posture.
- Adjust Lighting—If you can, reposition any lighting (or your computer) to minimize glare and use natural lighting whenever possible.
- 20-20-20 Rule—Every 20 minutes during your work, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes, and give them a 20-minute break after each 2-hour computer session. Also remember to blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.
With a combination of the proper optometry care and self-care, you can minimize computer eye syndrome and other modern-day vision problems.
You may have heard this buzzword recently, but what does it mean exactly? Blue light is all around us, from UV rays to lightbulbs, to our LED screens. Computer and laptop screens, flat-screen televisions, cell phones, and tablets all use LED technologies with high amounts of blue light. Looking at blue light for a prolonged amount of time can cause eye strain, dry eyes, and fatigue. Blue light also has an effect on our sleep-wake cycle. Research has found that when you’re exposed to blue light in the evening hours, your body doesn’t release as much melatonin, and your sleep cycle is delayed or disrupted. We recommend turning on the blue light filter on all your devices, and investing in a pair of blue-blocking glasses.
- If you have a pair of prescription glasses we recommend adding a blue light filtering anti-glare coat
- If you do not have a prescription or prefer to wear contacts we recommend a pair of nonprescription blue blocking glasses. These lenses can be put into any frame in our store. We also have BluTech Eyewear which includes the frame and nonprescription blue light lenses for only $150
Call our office at (360)392-8306 for any further questions about computer vision syndrome or blue light protection