Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Chrisantus Oden
How to Protect Your Eyes from too Much Screen Time?
For years, we have spent most of the day facing a screen. At work, the computer is essential, then we do not stop looking at our mobile devices, and when we get home, we start to watch a series on TV. These devices emit what is called blue light, which in the long run can be detrimental to the health of your eyes, which is why they have come to design glasses without radiation that prevent the passage of this type of light to our eyes and they are known as computer glasses.
These computer glasses can be a good alternative to take care of your eyesight if for work or study reasons you spend a lot of time with the computer in front of you. Here we explain what happens to the light on our screens and how computer glasses protect our eyesight.
What is Blue light and how does it affect our sight
This type of light is part of the light spectrum that our eyes can see. Each of these light rays, in addition to making us see the colours, has a different wavelength, with violet light being the one with a shorter wavelength; therefore, it has more energy and, too much exposure to it can be harmful to us.
Just as UV radiation from the sun can affect our skin, purple-blue light does it to the cells of our eyes, causing long-term eyestrain, AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and other similar diseases such as Central blurred vision or cataracts in the worst case.
Types of Computer Glasses
The experts in ophthalmology and visual health have managed to expand the range of computer glasses, in addition to the basic non-prescription glasses that had already been put on sale initially.
Anti-reflective glasses: This has been incorporated into prescription glasses in recent years, especially for people with mild myopia or astigmatism. Several computer glasses also incorporate this element, basically to avoid the continuous reflection of blue light on the surface of our glasses. These are recommended for students and professionals who work every day in front of the computer screen.
Blue filter glasses with light: these are glasses with a special type of antireflection, they go one step ahead of the others, because they offer much more effective protection, making view much safer. Many opticians already market these glasses regularly.
Occupational progressive glasses: they provide a vision adapted to the distances of your workspace. It is a very specific type of glasses, for people who suffer from acute presbyopia and who find it harder to focus their eyes on objects that are at different distances.
When to buy computer glasses?
There has been some debate about the supposed effectiveness of these glasses, but many experts have agreed on one thing: they are useful, in some cases more than others:
- When you work more than 8 hours approximately in front of a computer.
- If you have farsightedness or astigmatism, it may be highly recommended that in addition to the anti-reflective glasses you use regularly, you get ones with a blue light filter.
- If you are short-sighted, depending on the difficulty, you have in focusing your eyes on the screen.
- When there is increased eye strain, it is one of the ways to keep it from getting worse over time.
Although this information is useful, you should always consult an expert before choosing any glasses. At any optician’s office, they can do a check-up to check your sight and inform you about whether it is beneficial for you to wear computer glasses in your day-to-day life.
How do computer glasses work?
They are glasses that incorporate specific protective filters for the type of light coming from computer screens, mobiles and other digital devices, such as video game consoles. In addition to glasses, these filters can be applied to the screens themselves.
In theory, these special filters can reduce the intensity of light by 15-20%.
Computer visual syndrome
The increasingly intense and prolonged use of electronic screens has caused the appearance of computer vision syndrome. It is a disorder caused by overstrain of the eyes as a result of prolonged use of computers and other types of electronic screens:
The main symptom of this problem is visual fatigue, although it can also cause other discomfort and eye problems such as:
- Dry eye.
- Blurry vision.
- Double vision.
- Muscle and joint pain (back, shoulders, neck, etc.).
- Excessive tearing.
- Hypersensitivity to light (photophobia).
The cause of this abnormality is that staring at computers and the like for a long time and without pausing implies a high accommodative effort on the eyes, as well as a significant reduction in the number of blinks and tear production.
Although the eye discomfort caused by the use of digital devices are not usually serious and are also temporary, they can be very annoying, interfering in our daily activities, both work and leisure.
How to avoid eye discomfort from prolonged use of computers
As we have mentioned over the course of this article, glasses with special filters can be a help, but the most important thing is that we manage properly and with common sense the time we spend in front of the electronic screens, taking the necessary breaks.
Other recommendations are:
- Maintain a safe distance between our eyes and the screens (at least 60 centimetres).
- Optimize the screen resolution so that it does not take too much effort to see the letters on the computer.
- Always work with adequate ambient lighting.
- Use artificial tears if you notice dry eyes.
- Do not abuse contact lenses.
- Massage our eyes and do visual exercises.
- Blink voluntarily. Normally, we blink 18 to 25 times per minute, but when we are at the computer, the number can be reduced by almost half, which greatly increases the probability that we suffer from dry eye.
Finally, it is important to consider that, in themselves, the screens of computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. they are not harmful to the human eye. The danger comes in the abuse in the hours of use of the same, not pausing with the appropriate frequency or harmful habits, such as not placing us at the right distance or not blinking enough.
VisionSource. 2020. What Do Computer Glasses Do? | Vision Source. [online] Available at: <https://www.visionsource.com/blog/what-do-computer-glasses-do/> [Accessed 29 June 2020].