Have you ever felt tiredness, irritation, or dryness in your eyes after working for prolonged hours on your computer? Have you felt that after 3-4 hours while reading or doing desk work you feel like giving it up because your eyes feel fatigued? If yes, it’s time to get some information about computer vision syndrome and its allied lifestyle issues. With the correct knowledge about the effects of working continuously at near-reading, computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc, and an understanding of the corrective options available today at a good optician will help you alleviate this modern-day menace for yourselves and your family, especially your children.
People who work for many hours on their computers, mobiles, tablets, or similar devices, often complain about dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, problems adjusting focus from their device or desk to distance vision, etc. These symptoms are caused due to fatigue caused by continuously focussing vision at near vision. But due to the lack of information about this and due to excessive marketing by niche retailers, a lot of these symptoms have been wrongly attributed to blue light.
Blue light is the lower wavelength, higher energy part of our visible light spectrum (VIBGYOR). Not all blue light is bad. In fact, blue light in itself is not really bad. It is the exposure to blue light at the wrong times of the day that causes an imbalance in the human body.
Blue light has a role in waking up and inactivating cognition in the morning. In fact, its proportion is the highest, much higher than any artificial light source including any of the mobile devices. But with natural daylight, there is a time-restricted exposure. Blue light in natural sunlight starts waning off as the sunsets. So, by bedtime, there is no blue light from any natural source.
The absence of blue light in nature signals the body to produce sleep-inducing hormones that enable the human body to sleep peacefully at night. Now, after the sunset, we continue exposing ourselves to blue light via LED lights for general lighting and mobile-tablet-laptop-TV screens. This additional exposure to blue light outside of the day-light hours is the real culprit. However, some companies have hijacked this narrative and wrongly attributed blue light to be amounting to vision problems.
There are some reports of long-term exposure to blue light aggravating some forms of macular degeneration. However, the safety standards with regards to exposure in such cases still need to be established. Hence, while the role of blue light cannot be negated completely in the complex of vision issues related to continuous work on mobile-tablet-computer-TV screens, it is a small part of a larger field of work related to continuous work at near – between 1 to 3 feet.
One of the most successful ways to protect your eyes from blue light is using computer glasses. Moreover, to help you understand what are computer glasses and their benefits, we will discuss the following points in this blog: –
- What is digital eye strain?
- What is blue light?
- What are computer glasses?
- How computer glasses work.
- Benefits of computer glasses.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain refers to a group of the eye or vision-related issues that occur due to excessive or continuous usage of computers, cell phones, tablets, etc. For example, if you use a computer or mobile continuously on a daily basis, you must have experienced headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, or similar symptoms. These symptoms occur due to excessive usage of digital screens and digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain increases with the amount of time you spend in front of the screen. However, many of the digital eye strain symptoms are temporary and decline if you decrease the screen time. But the digital eye strain can worsen if you haven’t limited the screen time. It can also result in reduced visual abilities, and you can face symptoms like blurry vision or excessive eye pain.
You can treat or reduce your digital eye strain by controlling the lighting or glare on your device screen. In addition to that, you can also establish appropriate working distances or posture to look at the screen. Apart from this, you should also ensure that you never ignore even the minor vision problems and treat them on time so that the condition does not get worse. In addition, you should also use computer glasses to reduce eye strain.
Please go through the further sections to know about what are computer glasses as well as their benefits and other related information.
What are computer glasses?
Computer glasses are specially designed to wear while working on a computer. These glasses help your eyes to focus on the computer screen, which is a little farther than the reading material usually held. Therefore, computer glasses can help you relieve digital eye strain. To know more about how computer glasses work, go through the below section.
What causes eye strain while working on mobiles, tablets, computers, etc In order to understand how computer glasses work and help reduce eye strain, first, you should understand how a computer, tablet, or mobile screens affect your eyes.
The major mechanism at work here is continuous focusing at near. This part is true not just for people who use digital devices but also for those who read a lot of work at a desk for long hours. In order to see from distance to near, external eye muscles have to work to bring the eyes inwards. This movement is more complex than simply turning the two eyes towards the center as per the viewing distance. The eyes also have to be rotated inwards and downwards as per the viewing angle. Apart from the external eye muscles that move and rotate the eyeballs inwards and downwards, the internal eye muscles act to adjust the natural focus of the lens for the viewing angle.
In order to continue working at a stretch, all these external and internal eye muscles have to be acting continuously and in sync. Over 2-3 hours, without a break, the eye muscles get fatigued. Also with around ages of 38-40 and beyond, the ability of the internal eye muscles to hold focus continuously for long diminishes. It’s a condition known as pre-presbyopia. This leads to a feeling of tiredness, dryness, redness in the eyes along with other symptoms like a mild headache. Hence, Computer devices and similar digital devices cause problems like eye strain, dry eyes, tired eyes, and many others.
In recent years, several health and lifestyle experts have stressed upon the role of blue light emitted by LED lights and screens – modern-day general lighting, TV, mobile, tablet screens, etc. There is no escaping LED screens in today’s world. With the exception of aggravation of a certain type of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina, there is little evidence of the role of blue light in causing eye strain. Except for the fact that lower frequencies of light may bend more internally in the eye’s lens causing some unwanted glare that may be disturbing to very sensitive individuals, there is little to be scared of. However, blue light filtration is easy to incorporate and most of the international brands are gradually making it a part of the standard offering in the material itself. This silent evolution is part of product enhancement by reputed brands like Essilor, Crizal, Zeiss, Nikon, etc.
Blue light may contribute to a small extent, if not at all, towards aggravating visually disturbing eye-strain in sensitive individuals.
Generally, everyone is exposed to blue light through sunlight as blue light is a part of the color spectrum. However, the main cause behind the digital eye strain and related symptoms is the glare from the blue light. Note: read the next section to know about what is blue light, in detail.
Computer glasses that incorporate the lens treatment that filters the blue light are desirable if not essential. Since there is hardly much cost for upgrading blue light protection lenses, one may as well ask for it. While computer vision glasses may incorporate blue light protection, all blue light protection spectacles are not technically computer vision glasses if they do not have properties to relieve eye strain caused due to continuous focusing at near.
How computer glasses work to reduce eye strain
Specialized computer-vision glasses can be categorized into two categories based on the age of the person:
- Under the age of 40
- Over the age of 40
)Computer vision spectacles for those under the age of 40: Commercially available under brand names like EyeZen by Essilor-Crizal, RelaxSee by Nikon, Digital Lenses by Zeiss, these lenses have a power booster zone in the area corresponding to the area of the lens through which one sees at near. The power booster relaxes the internal muscles of the eye while working. Due to the power booster, the eyes take longer to get tired. As a result, one can work for a longer number of hours continuously on a mobile, tablet or computer without getting tired.
Thus, productivity increases with these lenses. These lenses can be with or without blue light protection. While these are desirable with blue light protection as one would expect to work late in the evening as well, but the yellow tinge in blue light protection lenses can affect the work of professionals who work with colors on screens, like graphic designers. Such professionals may want these eye-relaxing spectacles without blue light protection.
2)Computer Vision Spectacles for those over forty
For people over 40, who have reading glasses, and have extensive hours of table work, desk work that includes intermittently or continuously working on computers, tablets and mobiles, enhanced near vision lenses that give widest vision zones across 1 foot to 3 feet working distances is the best option. These are commercially available under brand names like Home & Office, Online Wide by Nikon, Office Lenses by Zeiss, etc.
While today’s active, technology-led lifestyles make these the lenses of choice for professionals with extensive near work involving screens, these lenses are also a great fit for artists, sculptors, writers, bank professionals, home makers whose near work may not involve screens but is spread across 1 to 3 feet. One may choose to have these with or without blue light protection, though which is preferred.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a part of the light spectrum visible to humans. This light has the shortest wavelength and the highest energy. Moreover, the most significant source of blue light is sunlight. Apart from this, the most common artificial sources of blue light are: –
- Compact Fluorescent Light
- Flat-screen LED televisions
- Computer Monitors
- Smart Phones
Blue light is not always harmful. On the contrary, it helps boost alertness, and elevates mood and cognitive function. In addition to that, it also regulates the body’s circadian rhythm (the natural wake and sleep cycle). However, inadequate exposure to blue light can be a contributing factor to increased incidence of nearsightedness.
Exposure to blue light emitted from the screens is lesser than the amount of exposure from the sun. Moreover, nearly all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens of the eye and reaches the retina. Continued and excessive exposure of the eye to blue light can worsen a certain type of macular degeneration.
Benefits of computer glasses – Do computer glasses work?
After understanding what are computer glasses, what is blue light, and how computer glasses work, let’s discuss the major benefits of computer glasses: –
- Eye – Fatigue Reduction Less digital eye strain
Specialized Computer vision lenses aim to relax the internal eye muscles while working at close distances. Their primary aim is to reduce the fatigue in the eye
2. Higher Productivity
Symptoms caused due to digital eye strain and headaches caused by extensive near vision also affect your productivity. However, Computer vision spectacles that relax eye muscles lead to a later onset of fatigue in the eyes. So, one can work for long hours on the mobile laptop-tablets. Since computer glasses prevent you against such conditions and help you work with complete focus, it eventually increases your overall productivity.
3. Blue Light Reduction
Using computer glasses with blue light protection reduces the amount of blue light exposure from your computer screen and protects the eyes from office lights like LED or fluorescent lights. Therefore, computer glasses prevent the blue light from reaching your eyes from nearby sources.
4. Healthy Vision
As discussed earlier, your eyes may feel exhausted and strained after using a computer, mobile, or tablet for hours. In this condition, you can experience irritation or dryness in the eyes or blurred vision. Computer glasses save you from digital eye strain and maintain your overall eye health.
5. Computer glasses for children
Blue light emitted by the digital screens at hours beyond sun set can disrupt the natural sleep cycle and cause hormonal imbalances. The best solution is to restrict screen time in the evening and night times. But in today’s time when education and entertainment have become more and more technology dependent, it may be unavoidable to restrict screen time always. Hence, Blue light protection spectacles, even in zero power may be helpful to some extent. Excessive blue light exposure can also cause visual fatigue and sleep disorders that can harm their overall health and growth. I9. Computer glasses for night-time
As we discussed earlier in this blog, blue light helps regulate the circadian rhythm of the body. But exposure to blue light from artificial lighting or electronic devices at night before bedtime can disrupt your natural sleep patterns and make it harder to get a peaceful sleep.
Hence, we hope that after going through the above section, you can understand the benefits of computer glasses and how do computer glasses work to reduce your digital eye strain.
you can get both – prescription and non-prescription computer glasses in a single place at R.Kumar Opticians. We offer high-quality specs at the most reasonable prices.
Do you need computer glasses?
If you have to work on electronic devices like computers, mobile phones, etc., for prolonged hours and experience blurry vision, eye fatigue, frequent headaches, or migraines after working, you need computer glasses.
1. Does digital eye strain go away?
Yes, digital eye strain is not permanent and can be treated with better screen habits. You can also go for the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain.
2. How common is digital eye strain?
According to the University of IOWA Hospitals & Clinics, digital eye strain affects about 75% of people who work on digital devices like computers,
4. Are blue light glasses worth it?
As we know, excessive exposure to blue light can cause several eye problems. Blue light-blocking glasses reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eye. As a result, it reduces some part of digital eye strain and helps you focus on your work and productivity. Blue Light protection is more important to reduce the unwanted blue light exposure in late hours of the day that can cause disruption of sleep cycle and cause larger lifestyle issues.