Could Computer Glasses Help Ease Your Eyes? You May Need Them More Than You Realize

If you wear your glasses all the time, you may not think of them as "computer glasses," exactly—but stop for a moment and evaluate how long you actually spend on activities that have your eyes focused on one type of screen or another. Between your smartphone, e-reader, laptop, work computer, and television, you may be causing yourself unnecessary eye strain. Learn more about the problem and how to treat it.

You may not even realize how common digital eye strain has become.

Almost 60% of Americans are using their digital devices for five or more hours each day and 73% of adults under the age of 30 experience the symptoms of digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eye strain can include pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, along with headaches, blurred vision, and chronic dry eyes.

Most people have come to accept that "tired" eyes are just part of modern living. You may be so used to the sensation that you no longer stop to think that it's abnormal or could be hurting your vision. 

There are special lenses designed for frequent digital users.

The eye care industry has begun to recognize a need for products that can help patients navigate an increasingly computerized world. Commonly called computer lenses or computer glasses, eyewear has been developed that helps curb the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. Because of its shorter wavelength and higher energy level, blue light appears to flicker, which can cause eye strain without you even noticing, particularly when the LED backlight of a digital screen adjusts the display's brightness as it refreshes.

Computer glasses make use of an anti-reflective lens and blue light-blocking capabilities. The anti-reflective coating keeps the glare from overhead lighting (indoors and out) from aggravating your eyes and straining them. Reducing the amount of blue light that your eyes absorb helps increase the contrast you see while simultaneously reducing the harshness of the digital screen on your eyes.

Cataract sufferers may be particularly prone to problems with digital eye strain.

If you suffer from cataracts, you may also be particularly prone to suffering the effects of digital eye strain—even if you have already had surgery to treat the cataracts. Cataracts are an age-related eye condition that causes the lens of the eye to become obscured by excess clumps of protein. Cataracts often start developing in people who are in their forties and fifties, but they start out small and don't noticeably obscure your vision until they get larger. At that point, surgery can be done to eliminate them. 

However, during their early growth, you may not even realize that they're there except for the way that glare from excessive light affects you. It's not uncommon for cataract sufferers to see a halo effect around bright lights and to perceive a lack of contrast in their vision. Computer lenses may ease some of the problems you have with bright lights due to your cataracts and help you pick up on contrasting images more easily.

Even after cataract surgery, many people find that they still need reading glasses and that they have an unusual sensitivity to bright lights and glare. Computer lenses can make it easier for post-operative cataract sufferers to tolerate the chronic glare of digital screens and overhead lighting.

For more information on whether or not computer glasses are right for your condition, contact an eye care provider today such as Leader Heights Eye Center.