David didn’t know his computer was killing his eyes.
But there he was. Laid back in his chair, rubbing his eyes. Taking what he thought was a simple break from creating his presentation. But his eyes….
After the short break he goes back to the task at hand. The presentation he's working on is for a huge project. The biggest he’ll pitch all year. Everything rides on how well the presentation goes.
But then, another break. This time rubbing his temples trying to get ahead of the headache he feels developing.
Suddenly his vision blurs. He can't focus on anything no matter how hard he tries. David closes his eyes, gives his head a slow shake as if willing his vision to clear. And takes a deep breath. A few clearing blinks later his vision returns to normal.
He chalks it up to a bad night of sleep the last few nights, but there’s a deeper problem...
You see, this isn’t a one-off event. It happens at least once a day for David. And sometimes more.
No, he isn’t suffering from lack of sleep. Though that is a huge contributor to the burning eyes, headache and foggy vision. David is dealing with a uniquely 21st century problem.
And he’s not alone.
Because millions of Americans experience the same symptoms. Symptoms that stem from staring at digital screens for extended periods of time.
According to a recent Nielsen report the average American spends 11 hours and 6 minutes with their eyes glued to a digital device. That’s nearly 70% of the time we're awake.
And unfortunately the trend is only getting worse. Since 2016 the amount of time we spend looking at digital screens has increased 17%.
With the increase in digital device time there is also a rise in eye strain related problems. And optometrists and doctors call this Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
According to the American Optometric Association, CVS is:
“A group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use.”
Discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use… And like I mentioned before, Americans spend 17% MORE time looking at digital screens... Every. Year.
But how do digital screens - like your computer, or cell phone - cause discomfort and damage to your eyes?
First is the blue light that radiates from the screens. There’s been more than 3470 studies of blue light and how it affects vision published by the National Institute of Health. And the most widely accepted reason is your eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect blue light. Which causes the blue light to kill light-detecting cells in your eyes.
That’s why you may experience dry eyes, burning, and blurred vision after staring at your computer screen for hours at a time.
And it doesn’t stop there.
You see, your eyes have to work harder when focusing on a screen because of the blue light. So, you may lean in to get closer to the screen - or bring it closer to your face - in an attempt to “see” it better. This causes poor posture, which leads to stiff necks and sore lower backs.
So, digital screens can harm your eyes and your posture. But that’s not all…
78.4% of American adults report using digital devices, including TV, an hour before going to sleep. Whether it’s checking emails, using social media, or Netflix and chill, you’re exposing yourself to blue light right before sleep. And research shows that blue light reduces melatonin - the sleep hormone.
In fact, Harvard researchers did a study that tracks 6.5 hours of light exposure with sleep patterns. The results? Blue light suppresses melatonin nearly twice as long as other light spectrums. It also shifts circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours). That’s why you may not only have trouble falling asleep but also staying asleep all night long. Unfortunately in the digital age we can’t simply stop using digital devices. But there are things you CAN do.
One of the easiest and most cost effective solutions is to buy a pair of blue-light blocking computer glasses.
But buyer beware… because not all glasses are created equal. It’s vital you look for lenses specifically designed to block harsh blue light and the rapid refresh rates of digital screens. Also you’ll want something that blocks at least 50% of blue light or better. Which is hard to find in cost effective solutions. For my money, I like the computer glasses from
Not only are they comfortable to wear and block blue light, they also use clear lens technology. Which means no crazy tinting or distortion of colors. Another added benefit to the clear lens technology is aesthetics. I walk around all day with these glasses on and love my new look! In fact, I’ve had several people tell me they think I look different, but they can’t put their finger on why. Little do they know that science has proven that glasses make you look smarter and appear more trustworthy!
On top of purchasing high-quality computer glasses, you can also do the following to help reduce Computer Vision Syndrome: