Q: I am working in my office again, and having tired eyes and some fuzzy vision driving home at the end of my day. My work is mostly on my computer workstation. Is this that “blue light” thing?
A: Actually, probably not. While exposure to “blue light” from computer screens may cause eye damage, it is a minimal risk compared to the damage from ultraviolet radiation. And damage from blue light, and UV from the sun, are both totally painless.
More commonly, the cause of “computer vision syndrome” is the prolonged near focusing so many of us have with all day screen use. Simplistically, our eyes are “designed” to give us clear comfortable distance vision. We were not made to focus on a digital screen at 16 to 20 inches for hours on end. Today, most office workers spend over 6 hours staring at a screen ( or two ), and then have 2 hours or more at home with a tablet and the cell phone. This extended near vision focusing can cause eye fatigue, headaches, neck strain….as well as distance blurriness after the workday. We actually have muscles inside our eyes that allow us to focus at near objects. Many people have distance fuzziness, as those focusing muscles do not “relax” for distance vision after prolonged near work.
Fortunately, we now have several eyewear lens designs to provide clear comfortable vision for just such situations. First, we can prescribe a new lens that still gives sharp distance sight, but gives a little focusing assistance when looking at near print. Many patients in their 30’s find these to be very comfortable and helpful to reduce those symptoms. Second, new “progressive” lens designs are excellent choices for patients over 40. These new designs can provide crisp distance vision and an easy focusing range for screen use. Unlike regular lenses, these are specifically made to give clear computer screen vision in the comfortable straight ahead position…..no need to tilt your head up, or cause neck strain.
Some lens designs are best used only when you are at your desk using your computer/s. Other lenses can provide better office work vision, but still work for general lifestyle needs. Talk with your eye doctor about your vision needs in your work. You can select the lens design/s that best suit your lifestyle…..at work and at home. Comfortable clear vision may be closer than you think!