What is Digital Eye Strain?
Right now as you read this you are at risk for developing computer vision syndrome, or CVS. As our digital world is expanding, each of us are likely spending long hours in front of computer screens, tablets and cell phones every single day. The result of constantly focusing on our digital devices include both eye strain and non-eye-related symptoms like neck and shoulder pain as well
What are the symptoms of CVS and is blue light bad?
Even with excellent vision, patients using digital devices for long periods of time can experience: dry and scratchy eyes, blurred vision, focusing difficulties, headaches, eye discomfort and pain in the neck and back. These symptoms may be mild or severe. As our digital screen times skyrocket we are diagnosing many patients with symptoms that are bothersome and even severe.
Is blue light bad? Yes and No. Blue light from man made sources (such as fluorescent light, LED lights, and electronic devices) can cause eyestrain, fatigue, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing. Also, even though it is less intense than blue light from the sun, it may be damaging to the retinal cells due to the proximity to the source, and for children (whose eyes naturally absorb more blue light) the effects may be more dramatic due to larger sums of blue light over the course of their life. On the other hand, natural blue light from the sunlight may play some role in preventing and controlling the development of myopia (nearsightedness).
How can CVS be treated?
Diagnosis and treatment options start with a complete eye examination to evaluate the causes and rule out other conditions. Once the diagnosis of CVS is confirmed our doctors will recommend spectacle lens options to help minimize symptoms. In addition, we will discuss reducing screen time, and improving viewing posture and lighting. We also recommend the use of the 20/20/20 rule. This rule states that after 20 minutes of screen time we take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away helping to reduce eye fatigue. Blue light filtering lenses along with anti-reflective (non glare) coatings are also available and significantly reduce the symptoms of long hours of exposure from computers and other digital devices. Ask our opticians about lens and coating options that will be best for you.