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Can staring at a computer screen really damage my eyes?

Eye doctor, Man Glasses Working Laptop in San Leandro, Concord & Castro Valley

If you were asked to name the sight you look at for the most hours per day, it would probably be your computer screen. (Right?) In our high-tech world, we look at digital monitors way more than we stare out the window at the landscape or gaze into human eyes. And according to many studies and opinions from the professional eye care field, all of this time spent staring at computer screens is dangerous for your vision.

The typical, immediate response to this point of view is to ask – How does staring at my computer hurt my eyes? Our eye doctors at Turner Eye Institute, in San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley explain.

Your Computer Blocks Your Blinks

A primary problem of looking at digital screens for hours on end is that you blink less. Normally, you blink about 16x per minute, but when focusing on a screen you may only blink about 4x a minute. That’s why you probably stop periodically to rub your sore eyes.

When you don’t blink enough, the moist layer on the surface of your eyes will evaporate more quickly. This leads to irritation, red eyes, and blurry vision. In our eye care centers in San Leandro, Castro Valley, and Concord, our optometrists commonly diagnose dry eye syndrome caused by staring at computers.

Fortunately, the remedy for this problem is pretty easy. Take breaks and blink. Every 20 minutes, look into the distance (across the room may be far enough) for 20 seconds, and remember to blink. This can help prevent the symptoms of dry eyes that are caused by extended computer usage.

Blue Light Can Be Bad for Eye Health

Blue light wavelengths are short and high-energy, which makes them flicker. This flickering –even though it is very subtle – can tire your eyes and lead to headaches or eye irritation. A trendy pair of blue light blocking eyeglasses or contact lenses can help prevent these pesky wavelengths from bothering your eyes.

Computers Can Affect Your Future Vision

Eyes have melanin, a protective component that helps to filter out dangerous blue light and minimize its effects on your inner eye tissues. However, the natural production of melanin decreases with age. Recent scientific studies demonstrate that the massive quantities of blue light hitting our eyes every day has increased the risks of several sight-threatening eye problems, such as macular degeneration and retinal damage.

Solutions for Computer Vision in San Leandro, Castro Valley, and Concord

Computer vision, which is a term that embraces all of the irritating eye symptoms that staring at computers can cause, can be resolved by wearing specialized computer glasses, practicing healthier viewing habits, rearranging the position of your monitor in relation to your eyes, and adding protective blue light filters to your screen or eyeglasses lenses.

Our San Leandro, Concord, and Castro Valley eye doctors know all about the ways to help keep your eyes safe – even when staring at a computer day in and day out! Contact our eye care office to book an appointment today.