The eyes were never intended to view a computer. This self-illuminating source of information is a virtual environment, viewed for multiple hours, and usually located above and closer than paperwork. A special task, such as computer use, requires special care for your eyes.
We are proud to be the first practice in the Washington, D.C. area to be able to offer the Computer-Eyes Examination.
So you work on a computer…
Over the years, the complaints about computer related eyestrain, backaches, headaches, and muscle fatigue have increased. What has not increased is the authoritative information on the causes and how to alleviate these problems.
My hope is that I can explain here some of the issues faced today by computer users. Let’s take a look at some of the main problems:
- Screen Glare: One of the main problems with computer use and one of the easiest to fix. Reflected images on the computer screen, a window or a lamp, will cause eyes to focus back and forth between the screen and the reflected object. This added effort will tire the eyes rapidly.
- Office Glare: This type of glare reflects off of items in your office or is caused by light shining directly into the eyes. These reflections increase the light entering the eyes. When light levels become too high for you to tolerate you naturally decrease the amount of light by squinting. The easiest way to tell if office glare is a problem is by simply putting your flat open hand over your brow and then, on each side of your face. If your eyes feel better with this test, you have an office glare problem.
- Monitor Height: The height of your monitor can also contribute to tired, strained eyes and appearance. Many computer users erroneously place the monitor on risers because they were told that a higher placed monitor allows for proper body posture. While posture is very important, visual posture is also key. In addition, as your eyes look higher they open wider. This exposes your eyes for extended periods of time. The result is more tear evaporation and red, stinging, puffy eyes follow.
- Monitor Distance: The distance between yourself and your screen can add to focusing problems and strain. The closer the computer monitor is to you, the more effort it takes to focus on the screen. This increased strain, over time, can create a focusing lock and result in blur when looking far away from the monitor. When the eyes spend more time looking at the monitor, rather than far away, the monitor distance becomes the “normal” focusing distance. When looking at a different distance, objects may look blurred and out of focus.
- Font Size: There’s nothing efficient about someone leaning over their computer squinting at the screen, trying to see whether a number is a 6 or an 8. Smaller letter size may allow you to see more information on a single screen but it also makes the images difficult to read. To compensate, many computer users will start getting “sucked into” the screen and what starts out as a comfortably seated user transforms into a forward leaning, bending, squinting mess.
- Screen Size: While bigger may seem better, this is not the case when it comes to computer screens. A larger screen will give you more “real estate” but the larger screen does not mean larger letters.
- Contact Lenses: Contact lenses can be a means of seeing clearly and comfortably or a source of dryness and irritation for computer users. With a higher viewing angle than paper and decreased blinking due to increased concentration, computer use can lead to contact lens discomfort. While all contact lenses correct vision problems, some may not be suited for computer use. Contacts are made of differing materials, sizes, and shapes. Just because a particular lens doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear contacts. It’s important to understand that a computer using environment is very different from sitting at home reading a book.
Dr. Glasser, nationally known for his expertise in the area of computer ergonomics, is a member of the American Academy of Optometry and is certified in Computer Eye Care through the University of California-Berkeley. He can definitely help you with any computer vision issues.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is defined as:
“That complex of eye and vision problems related to near work experienced during or after computer use.” – American Optometric Association
How do I know if I have Computer Vision Syndrome?
Here are the most common symptoms associated with CVS:
- Blurred vision at near
- Blurred vision at distance after near work
- Slower reading speed
- Poor comprehension (need to re-read material)
Is there a solution for Computer Vision Syndrome?
We offer the most advanced examination procedures and lens materials in order to optimize your computer use and visual efficiency. These include such computer lens products as “Access” and “Office” lenses, “Crizal” anti-reflection coatings, and glare reducing tints.
No one has more experience in providing for your computer vision needs than our office.