Those who work primarily in front of a computer screen on a daily basis are probably familiar with digital eye strain aka computer vision syndrome (CVS) even if they have never heard the term. A few of the common CVS symptoms you might experience after a full day of work on a computer or tablet are:
Anyone who spends two or more consecutive hours on a computer or handheld electronic device can experience a degree of digital eye strain. Although the symptoms will vary by individual, they usually worsen as the amount of time spent on the computer increases.
Digital eye strain can affect you even if you currently wear glasses or contacts. This is especially true if you are in a pair that aren’t meant specifically for computer use. Since computer monitors typically sit at an intermediate distance in between the correctional powers of traditional near or far prescriptions, your current correction could actually be making your eye strain worse if you spend a lot of time on a computer or handheld device.
What You Can Do
To help alleviate the symptoms of CVS or digital eye strain, there are several suggestions you can follow after narrowing down the cause or causes of your discomfort.
While digital eye strain can definitely impact your daily life, it doesn’t cause any sight threatening issues. However, newer studies have linked an increased risk of the vision stealing disease macular degeneration with the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, computer screens, and even flat screen tvs.
In extremely condensed terms, blue light is a form of high energy light on the visible light spectrum. While the most common source of blue light is provided from the sun, indoor technology such as computers, flat screen tvs, and handheld devices emit it as well. Although the amount of blue light you are exposed to is only a fraction of what you get from the sun, when you spend large amounts of time on these devices at such a close proximity to your eyes, that amount adds up pretty quickly.
Furthermore, because the frequency of blue light is so high, the eye has a hard time blocking it on its own. This means that almost all of the blue light you are exposed to reaches your retinas. In addition to contributing to digital eye strain, this exposure to blue light also causes damage to the light sensitive cells in the back of the eye. This is where the risk of macular degeneration becomes increased along with the risk for acquiring it much earlier in life than you normally would.
What This Means For Kids
All of this exposure is especially dangerous for children. With kiddos as young as three years old now watching videos and playing games on iPads, they will be exposed to this damaging light for a much longer time span than today’s adults. Plus, children hold things fairly close to their faces and since most kids this young don’t wear glasses they have zero protection from the blue light.There is also new research that links excessive handheld device usage in kids with developing crossed eyes as well as an increase in acquired nearsightedness.
What You Can Do
More than likely if you are reading this, you’ve experienced the strange sensation of an eyelid twitch. It can happen anywhere, at any time, and almost always stops the moment you try to point it out to someone else (and of course resumes the second they turn away just to make you look extra crazy). Well you aren’t crazy - at least in this case - eyelid twitches are a real thing!
Better known in professional lingo as “myokymia”, this twitching sensation is the result of involuntary, spontaneous, rippling muscle contractions. These spasms can actually occur in almost any of the muscles in your body. When relating to the eyelids, myokymia is most common in your lower lids but can happen in your top lids as well.
Eyelid myokymia is typically very temporary. The twitching will usually only last for a few minutes, but in some rare cases can last for a few days or even weeks.Your doctor will likely advise you that there is no cause for concern as common Myokymia resolves on its own without the need for treatment. Other than causing mild annoyance, the eyelid twitching shouldn’t cause any long term complications or interference with your vision.
Do your eyes ever feel dry and itchy? Do you ever experience eye fatigue, redness, blurred vision, or excessive watering? You could be suffering from dry eyes - especially if you live in Oklahoma City which ranks as the 17th driest city in the U.S. And despite the name, dry eye isn’t just an annoying feeling - it’s a legitimate chronic eye disease that affects an estimated 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 alone. And since another estimated 89% of the population have never even heard of Dry Eye Syndrome, it’s easy to see why some would just write off those annoying symptoms as a normal part of their lives.
In honor of Mother’s Day kicking off Women’s Week, the Eye- Q blog has decided to dedicate a post solely to women’s eye health related issues. So what makes women’s eye health so special? Women are actually more commonly affected than men by a number of ocular health issues including dryness, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, and complications from autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's or lupus. Furthermore, according to Prevent Blindness America, 66% of people who are blind or visually impaired are women.Let’s start with that statistic - why are women more at risk for eye complications than men?
No, it’s not a typo. Sjogren’s - pronounced show-grins - is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to various parts of the body; most commonly the tear and saliva glands. This damage results in symptoms ranging from dryness and discomfort to difficulty swallowing and can even affect the lungs and kidneys.So why exactly does this happen? Let’s start with a quick health lesson. The immune system is responsible for fighting disease and killing harmful viruses and bacteria. However, with autoimmune diseases, your immune system has a hard time knowing when to stop fighting and mistakenly attacks your own body. With Sjogren’s, your exocrine glands - the glands that secrete moisture such as saliva, sweat, tears, breast-milk, gastric mucous, etc - become the main targets.
So it’s the weekend and the mild discomfort you were experiencing midweek has now escalated into full blown intense pain. Or maybe you were working on the yard and something flew into your eye? Or perhaps you were wearing your contact lenses for too long and your eye is now extremely red and unhappy. Who do you call? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Ghostbusters.) But seriously, should you go to the ER if you injure your eye in some way? The answer might surprise you.