Do you experience eye strain from computer use?

We break down all you need to know about the causes and treatments to reduce digital eye strain!

When you work at a computer for any length of time, it`s common to experience eye strain/fatigue, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches and other symptoms.

  • If you’re under age 40, these problems may be due to an inability of your eyes to remain accurately focused on your screen or because your eyes have trouble changing focus from your keyboard to your screen and back again for prolonged periods.
  • If you’re over age 40, the problem may be due to the onset of presbyopia: the normal age-related loss of accommodation (ability to focus on close objects).

What should I do?

  1. Comprehensive eye exam to rule out vision problems and update your prescription, because even small inaccuracies in your prescription can contribute to computer vision symptoms.
  2. Consider customised anti-fatigue/extended-focus glasses. They are prescribed specifically to reduce eye strain and give you comfortable vision at your computer. Computer screens are usually positioned 50 to 70cm from the user`s eyes. This is considered the “intermediate zone” of vision: closer than driving (“distance”) vision, but farther away than reading (“near”) vision. To maximise accuracy with prescribing your glasses, use a tape measure to measure the exact distance between your eyes and your computer screen from the normal seating position at your computer prior to arriving for your eye exam.

Which glasses are right for me?

If you are under 40yrs old…

Most young people wear single vision glasses to correct their distance vision, but when using your eyes for computer work, you need to accommodate to a closer distance the whole time.

Anti-fatigue lenses are designed with a lower prescription at the bottom to reduce eye strain for computer and phone screen use.

Advantages:

  • Only need one pair of glasses for all uses
  • Fast and easy adaptation.
  • Reduced headaches, sore eyes and digital eyestrain
  • Increased computer/office work productivity.
  • You won’t feel as exhausted at the end of the days work
  • Suitable for driving and daily use
  • Also suitable for people who do not typically need to wear glasses

If you are over 40yrs old…

For those who are over 40, single vision reading glasses can be prescribed to correct near vision, but are generally too strong for computer use. Alternatively, multifocal lenses can correct near and far vision, but do not have a large intermediate zone (the area required for comfortable computer work). Therefore you can experience neck and shoulder pain from holding your head in a restricted position for long periods of time, or experience blurred vision if looking through the wrong lens zone.

Extended focus lenses are designed to place more emphasis on comfortable indoor vision (near, intermediate, and distance vision up to maximum of 4 metres). These lenses will have a larger intermediate zone than regular progressive lenses, which allows more comfortable eye movement with less field restriction.

Advantages:

  • Reduced back, neck and shoulder pain.
  • Reduced headaches, sore eyes and eyestrain.
  • Clear vision from near to intermediate distances.
  • Fast and easy adaptation.
  • Comfortable posture for near and intermediate vision.
  • Increase computer/office work productivity.
  • You won’t feel as exhausted at the end of the days work.
  • They are more comfortable glasses to use for most daily indoor activities.

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for driving
  • You have an extra pair of glasses to look after. However, if using an analogy for shoes, you would own different types of shoes for different activities. Using extended focus lenses for computer work all day is the equivalent of having the right shoes for a day of mountain climbing.

What is blue-light?

Blue-light is a high-energy wave length that occurs naturally in sunlight, and artificially from digital devices such as computers and smart phones. It plays an important role in our sleep-wake cycle. However as our exposure to blue-light has increased exponentially with the widespread popularity of digital devices, the effects on our bodies can be dramatic.

Blue-light is beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times and mood by suppressing the body’s secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles). However exposure to blue-light at night continues to alert your brain that it is daytime, therefore disrupting your natural urge to sleep. It can also contribute to digital eyestrain as blue-light scatters more and is not as easily focused by the eye.

Over time, blue-light can also have lasting physical effects. Because the blue wavelengths reach further back into the human eye, prolonged exposure can cause damage to the retina, and lead to the development of age-related macular degeneration.

However not all blue light is bad. In fact, light from the blue-turquoise range is essential to our vision and general well-being.

How blue-light blocking lenses work?

We have blue-light blocking coating available for ALL types of lenses, which can help to protect and improve your vision. The coating blocks all harmful rays, while allowing light from the beneficial blue-turquoise light range.

All blue-light coatings include anti-reflection coating, which not only minimises reflections on the lenses so vision is not hindered, but also absorbs harmful UV rays so they don`t damage the eyes and skin. The multiple layers of coating also make the lens more resistant to scratches, dust, and smudges.

What else can I do to reduce eye straining?

  1. For maximum viewing comfort, the lenses should include an anti-reflective coating to eliminate reflections of light from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain.
  2. Dial down the blue light on your digital devices.
  3. Try not to use electronic devices with bright screen for at least one hour before bed. This may be hard, but when you wake feeling rested, it will be worth it!
  4. Take regular breaks. Look up and into the distance (changing focus) regularly.

 

We hope you have found this information helpful! If you have any questions or concerns about your eyes, please don`t hesitate to call us on 07 3345 3383.