Remember when we were younger, and we had to listen to our parents’ dirge about hurting our eyes from things like reading in the dark or sitting too close to the television?
Welcome to the grown-up version of that.
Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives. With our daily use of computers, our eye muscles are working harder. There’s screen flicker, contrast and glare. We’re forced to focus more – and as a result, blink less. What’s more, as we get older, the lenses of our eyes become less flexible.
Quick note, this post was sponsored by Readers.com but the opinions expressed are my own.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome (aka CVS) is a real thing, although it’s usually temporary and won’t actually harm our eyes (neither did reading in the dark or sitting too close to the TV). Work at the computer or iPad for too long and the CVS symptoms you may get in return include dry eyes, eyestrain, blurred or double vision, redness, irritation and even headaches.
Yup, that’s likely you . . . especially if you use the computer for two or more continuous hours every day.
But, according to the American Optometric Association, there are some people who, though they may stop working at the computer, continue to experience a reduction in their visual abilities (like blurred distance vision). No one wants that.
Does this all mean you need to limit your computer time or ditch the screen altogether?
Not necessarily. There are solutions.
- Have your eye health checked regularly. CVS can be prevalent or made worse if you have uncorrected vision problems.
- Establish proper working distances and posture when working at your computer. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned in front of your face, rather than off to the side.
- Lubricate your eyes. Blink frequently or use eye drops; keep air vents from blowing on your face; and use a humidifier if the air in the room is dry.
- Take regular breaks every 15 minutes or so. Get up, stretch or, at the very least, switch your gaze to a spot in the distance to give your eyes a much-needed break.
- Control lighting and glare on the computer screen.
- Wear computer glasses. Even if you don’t require eyeglasses for everyday activities, you may still benefit from glasses prescribed specifically for computer use, says the American Optometric Association.
Okay, then. Numbers one through four are easy to figure out and easy to follow. But you may be stuck on what to do about numbers five and six. I’ll admit, when it comes to eyesight, it can get a bit confusing (especially for people around our age, who have a common need to correct more than one thing).
Readers.com has a wide variety of computer readers and computer glasses to help alleviate CVS and make your eyes more comfortable at the computer. They offer a fix for problems five and six:
1. Computer Readers.
These take the stress off your eyes with anti-glare lens coatings. Some computer reader lenses also have tints of light amber or yellow to help block bright light emitted by computer screens. They’re available in single power, full-frame options (like The Capitol and The Hayden) or dual power options (like The Channing and The Camden) that cater to different levels of view. Dual power readers have your selected reading power at the base of the lens and your intermediate power (half of your reading power) at the top of the lens.
2. Computer Glasses.
Not to be confused with computer readers, these are for people who don’t need reading glasses. Computer glasses have no magnified lens, but do help relieve eye stress with anti-glare coatings and tinted lenses. Readers.com offers a style of computer glasses called The Casper.
One last thing -- in the spirit of National Healthy Vision Month (the month of May), check out the Readers.com Eye Health Guide.
Sheryl Kraft’s work has appeared in various print and online publications including AARP, Prevention, WebMD, Woman’s Day, Everyday Health, Grandparents.com, HealthyWomen.org, Senior Planet, JAMA, Weight Watchers, Bottom Line/Health, Bottom Line/Women’s Health, Caring Today, Westchester Magazine and more. She lives in her empty nest with her husband, Alan, and enjoys weekly Sunday visits from her two hungry 26 and 28-year-old sons (who also occasionally bring a load of laundry). When she's not working, Sheryl enjoys exercising, reading, walking and biking the neighborhood, seeing Broadway shows and spending time with friends. Visit Sheryl's website at www.sherylkraft.com or her two blogs, MySoCalledMidlilfe and Midlife Matters.