Is your computer hurting your vision?


| 6 Comments
Without my contacts, I am legally blind. Not that this is rare, but my vision is really quite terrible to begin with. I can barely walk across the room without corrective lenses, and I am truly shocked that I managed to pull over safely after a contact fell out of my eye while driving the other day. While staring at my iPhone screen today, I wondered if our addictions to technology could really be making our vision worse. As college students, we spend hours a day attached to a computer or staring at our phone screens. This means straining our eyes with bright screens and tiny fonts.



I discovered there's a name for stress on the eyes caused by computer screens, and its caused Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. (Creative, huh?) CVS affects about 90% of people that spend at least two hours a day looking at computer and phone screens. Symptoms can include blurry vision, headaches, red eyes, nearsightedness, neck pain, and eye irritation. The main problem is dry eyes, as people normally blink 16 times per minute, but only blink around 6 times per minute while staring at a computer screen.

The best way to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome is the "20-20-20" rule, invented by optometrist Andrea Thau. Every twenty minutes, spend twenty seconds looking at a fixed object 20 seconds away. It's also important to make sure that your eyes are lined up with the top of your monitor, because the eyes will focus much better when looking down. You can also now order computer glasses from your optometrist that can help prevent CVS. What's most important to know is that as long as your using precautions, CVS shouldn't permanently affect your vision!

Do you often find that staring at your computer screen or phone hurts your eyes? Do you think there could be worse long term affects, or do you think it's safe?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42116442/ns/health-womens_health/t/got-blur-could-be-computer-vision-syndrome/#.UIXWjIb4Ihk

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=rN8&sa=X&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1708&bih=798&tbm=isch&tbnid=n70i11xe6-gL3M:&imgrefurl=http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/AX041172/girl-staring-at-her-computer&docid=03fls8vLpV1ZUM&imgurl=http://www.corbisimages.com/images/Corbis-AX041172.jpg%253Fsize%253D67%2526uid%253Ddb4dc8df-fdf7-436a-9688-13ddc3cdd9d1&w=640&h=427&ei=rtuFUMOQLobx0gHP2ICoCg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=406&sig=116443787295512010374&page=2&tbnh=141&tbnw=216&start=34&ndsp=47&ved=1t:429,r:35,s:20,i:245&tx=113&ty=66



6 Comments

I am sceptical of claims that prolonged computer use does not harm your eyesight, at least in some people. A few years ago I developed a squint after reading and being on my laptop an outrageous amount because I broke my leg.. It always re-emerges when I use computers a lot. In some cases, it can be corrected through prisms in one's spectacles. I visited many optometrists and many other types of eye professionals to find that few of them were familiar with the condition. One expert who did know about it told me that it is becoming more common nowadays because of computers. Most other professionals I visited told me that the proposition you can damage your eyesight by excessive reading and computer use is an old wives tale. But I definitely think that reading and staring at a computer for abnormally long hours can impact one's vision.
That's why it is important not to overdo it with computers because our eyesight is so valuable.

This sparked my interest because just a few years ago I was diagnosed with astigmatism. My understanding is that it is in fact hereditary, but no one else in my family has it. I've spent my fair share of time staring at screens whether it is tv, computer, phone, etc. as I'm sure we all have. I never actually got glasses until a few years ago so I spent much of my time squinting when watching tv or being on the computer which I'm sure put plenty of strain on my eyes. I've also noticed that my vision is increasingly blurry with long-distance after spending significant time on the computer when writing a paper. I try not to spend too much time on the computer or watching tv in an attempt to preserve my vision which is already lacking. It certainly can't be good for our eyes to be staring at a screen for extended periods of time. I also wonder if the brightness of the screen has any effect one way or the other on eyes.

This was a great topic to discuss in a college course because like you said, we are on our computer and staring at our phones for a great deal of time throughout our day. Personally, I have experienced this type of problem with my vision, especially here at school. To me, it is actually crazy to think of how much I stare at technology, specifically my computer. My laptop is always on and I find myself spending large amounts of time either blogging for this class, reading news on different websites, or keeping up with social media. Sometimes I find myself getting so involved with what I am doing on the computer that I eventually turn away after a while and find myself with soreness in my eyes and even a little headache. After reading your post, now I know what this problem is, Computer Vision Syndrome, sounds simple enough. I found it interesting that one of the main problems of this syndrome is dry eyes and I have definitely been victim to that. I have contacts as well and I have realized throughout the years that I have to make sure my eyes receive moisture and that I do blink enough because if not, my contacts will dry up and possibly fall out. Staring at my computer screen does not help this, so my contacts moving around is usually a sign that I need to look away from my computer. After reading the 20-20-20 rule, I will have to remember that and keep it in the back of my mind so I don't have further problems after looking at technology for so long.

I also decided to look into specific glasses that tend to help with this problem. I came across this website that talks about GUNNAR glasses, "high tech computer eyewear designed to protect, enhance and optimize your vision." I guess this company realized this problem and decided to make a profit from it. By scanning this sight, it does seem like these glasses could help, but do you think that there is worse affects for people who have contacts versus those who do not? I think this would be an interesting study to be done, not only on a college campus, but in the work place. You brought up the question of if long term affects could be possible, and I think there could be. Obviously I am not too familiar with the workings of our brain or eyes, but I feel like people who are on computers all day and do not have "time" to do the 20-20-20 rule, might have affects like longer headaches and eye irritation that might be harder to fix down the road. This is definitely a problem to keep an eye on.

Sometimes my eyes are killing me after a long session of homework on the computer, and after reading this it makes more sense. My eyes have always been sensitive, but as I got older, the worse they got. I also realized that when I spend to much time on the computer I get headaches above my eyes. I can't even watch videos longer than fifteen minutes on anything smaller than my 17 inch laptop because I get servere migraines from it. I found this website that goes into more detail, but I definately think stres on the eyes is not good and can cause other issues such as headaches.

http://voices.yahoo.com/headaches-causes-migraines-computers-glasses-16079.html?cat=5

I also have absolutely horrible vison when I am not wearing my contacts or glasses. I think as we are growing older there are definitely more reasons to worry about worsening eyesight. As a kid I used to sit right in front of the television so I was basically touching it which is what I'm pretty sure gave me the glasses in the first place. Now when I'm trying to do simple homework I find that my eye actually begin to burn and strain when I stare at the computer for too long. My doctor says I've actually acquired an astigmatism, but I don't know how true that is. It would be interesting to see how quality in vision over the years has changed.

With all the great advancements in technology over the past two decades, it should be soon that we start to see some of the negative effects. So what are the negative effects of technology? We can start with some physical like this issue of CVS. Society as a whole is on average looking at a screen for probably 2 hours a day. This means that we are all suceptible to CVS. There are many other negatives to the use of technology. I think we will see a great fall off in social skills for our younger generations because of technology consuming their life. Technology is not always great!

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