EYE STRAIN AND MACULAR DEGENERATION
Did you know according to the American Optometric Association that 75% of computer workers complain of eye strain? Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) occurs when the eyes focus on the computer display for a protracted amount of time resulting fatigue, eye strain and dry eyes. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects some 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.
It’s no wonder with the amount of time we spend in front of the computer, tablets and other electronic devices that more individuals are experiencing computer-related eye strain. Due to the exposure of blue light which is omitted from the devices, we are beginning to see the effects of digital eye strain – headaches, eye pain, double vision, watery eyes, and burning. Blue light may cause oxidative damage to the eyes, and may play an integral role in causing age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to significant vision loss.
For years now, professionals in the fields of light energy and vision have known about the hazards ultraviolet (UV) light presents to ocular health. We are gradually having longer and more intense exposures to blue light. While some people find blue light irritates their eyes or causes headache, most are able to ignore it. Scientists only now are beginning to investigate its long term effects and offer some solutions for maintaining ocular health in the presence of blue light.
Some tips to avoid eye strain
- Take a break from the screen
- Blink frequently
- Consider the use of computer glasses they have a different focal point than glasses
- Keep a bright monitor and reduce the blue light at night
- Reposition your computer 20-28 inches from your eye
These symptoms not only apply to adults, but we are seeing more kids than ever before with eye strain from hours spent on video games, portable electronic devices and computer use. If you see your kids rubbing their eyes or notice an increase in headaches, it may be time to limit usage and schedule an eye exam with an optometrist. Technology is here to stay, but we must be aware of long term effects with overuse.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.