So many of us spend a large portion of our day in front of a computer, laptop, and/or smartphone, especially since the coronavirus pandemic triggered widespread work-from-home and remote learning. At Albuquerque Vision Care and Advanced Eyewear, our optometrist team has already noticed a significant effect of this increased scree time – a rising prevalence of computer vision.
What is Computer Vision?
Computer vision is also called digital eye strain. It's a syndrome caused by excessive time looking at a digital screen or monitor. Computer vision isn't permanent, but if it's not prevented then over time it may increase a person's risk for a variety of other health problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and even chronic neck pain.
There are a few possible reasons for this. Computers and other digital devices contain a lot of blue light, which is a powerful type of light that can damage sensitive eye tissue. The way people tend to use digital devices – e.g., slouching over a screen for hours at a time, blinking less often, staring or scanning at high contrast or fast-moving images – can also strain the eyes and neck.
If a person has undetected or uncorrected vision problems like astigmatism or farsightedness, computer vision symptoms may be more severe.
Signs and Symptoms of Computer Vision
Computer vision occurs at some point for most people who use computers or smartphones. Key signs and symptoms to look out for include eye fatigue or puffiness, blurry vision, headaches, jaw and neck pain, dry eyes, and watery discharge. These symptoms usually show up during screen time and for a short time after.
How Our Albuquerque Optometrist Staff Can Help You Avoid Computer Vision
As mentioned, computer vision is a syndrome and not a specific health condition, so it can't be "diagnosed" in the traditional sense. But our Albuquerque optometrist team can help you identify warning signs of computer vision and implement strategies to avoid it.
To prevent computer vision from occurring during your workday, we may recommend:
- Installation of blue-light blocking filters or apps on your digital device
- Routine eye exams to detect underlying vision problems
- Prescription eyewear to optimize vision (eyeglass lenses can also be coated with blue-light blocking filters)
- Ergonomic changes to improve posture, screen contrast, ambient lighting, etc.
- Behavioral changes (e.g., taking more frequent breaks while using a computer)
Do You Have Vision-Friendly Computer Habits?
In the digital age, we all need to avoid computer vision. Contact Albuquerque Vision Care and Advanced Eyewear at (505) 332-2020 to schedule an eye exam with our experienced optometrist today.