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Blue Light: Preventing Computer Vision

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Today, it is hard to avoid computers, smart phones and other similar technologies. Many of us find ourselves looking, for much of our days, at the lighted screen of a computer or smart phone. In recent years, the incidence of Computer Eye Strain has skyrocketed. Between 50 and 90 percent of computer workers suffer from eye strain and other symptoms. These can lead to physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased work errors as well as minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes.

 

HOYA recently developed an anti-reflective lens treatment, called Recharge that guards the health of your eyes by differentiating between "good" blue light and "bad" blue light. This innovative new anti-reflective treatment helps deflect the portion of blue light that can do long-term damage to your eyes and is emitted from back-lit hand held devices such as smart phones and tablets. Amazingly, it also allows only the portion of blue light we need for best contrast and other health benefits to pass through.

There are many useful steps one can take to reduce his/her risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

First, modify your work space and the surrounding area to help your eyes more easily deal with the strain of working on the computer all day. One of the easiest things to do is minimize the impact of light coming in from outside. This can be done simply by closing the shades. If possible, also place your computer screen so that windows to the outside are to the side and not behind or in front of it. This will reduce strain on your eyes from bright sunlight that may be causing your eyes difficulty. You may also consider using less or dimmer light bulbs inside.

These steps will also reduce glare and reflections from your computer screen, walls and other surfaces. You can further reduce glare by installing an anti-glare screen on your computer and painting white or brightly colored walls a darker color.

You may also benefit from putting any written work you may be copying from a printed page onto a copy stand so that you can reduce the strain on your eyes produced by looking back and forth from an unlit surface to a lit one.

If your monitor settings are set incorrectly, this can also make your computer experience uncomfortable by increasing fatigue and eye strain. Dr Lori Heyler, of Canterbury Vision Care in West Boylston, MA, advises, “If you have an old tube-style monitor, it is time to trash it. Old style monitors have a noticeable 'flicker,' and most of the time give off a glare that contributes to computer eye strain. Newer LCD screens like those found on laptops do not have this flicker and usually have an ant-reflective surface, and so are much easier on the eyes.”

For a desktop computer, the display on your new LCD screen must be at least 19" diagonal. Be sure to adjust your computer's display settings correctly as well. This can go a long way to reducing eye strain and fatigue. Brightness, text size, contrast and color temperature all add to or diminish your experience.

Finally, it is extremely important to have regular eye exams. Having a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to preventing and treating any kind of harm to your eyes, including computer vision problems. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer workers should have an eye exam before they start working, and every year after that. This helps keep track of any changes, and treat any symptoms as they come up. Be sure that your doctor knows how often you use a computer at work and at home and speak to your doctor about eye exercises you can do to reduce fatigue and eye strain. “You may also benefit from speaking to your eye doctor about creating a customized pair of prescription 'computer glasses.' This is especially true if you wear contact lenses that can get dry and uncomfortable after long days using your computer or smart phone,” notes Dr. Lori Heyler.

For more information, contact Dr. Lori Heyler

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