With our contemporary shift from working the fields to working a desk, computer use has become ubiquitous. For many, much of our lives are spent gazing at one type of a screen or another. This habit, this modern requirement, can result in eye damage.
We understand that wearing sunglasses outside protects our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. This has become common knowledge and so common sense. Yet, we give little thought to continuously starring at a backlit screen. The artificial light produced by these devices continually bounces from the display and into our eyes. It’s like a tiny virtual hammer tapping away at our sight. Yet, computer glasses provide a barrier that repels these accumulative light-induced blows to protect eye health and vision.
When you think about computer glasses, what comes to mind? Spectacles that help you to see? If you have trouble with nearsightedness or astigmatism, prescription lens are needed. These will help you to see the screen clearly.
However, there is a second type of specs that are not specific to a biological challenge. These are needed by everyone who uses a backlit device: blue light protective computer glasses. These crucial accessories act like sunglasses for the inside world. High-quality options protect your eyes from harmful blue light and glare produced by digital screens. As the concept of computer glasses is quite new there is not really an established front runner for the term, they are known as blue light glasses, blue light blocking glasses, anti blue light glasses, computer glasses and a whole host of other terms.
Speaking of harmful computer-related effects...
Eye damage symptoms: How to know if you are suffering from computer-induced injury?
The American Optometric Association reported a sobering fact: The average worker spends seven hours each day at their computer. It’s little wonder device-related symptoms and eye damage are soaring!
This problem is so common that we now have a diagnosis that did not exist several decades ago: computer vision syndrome (CVS).
The most frequently reported symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
Then there is the direct impact that blue light may bring. Oft referred to as a contributor to light pollution, this wavelength is produced by computer screen, smartphones, tablets and eReaders.
As the authors of a recent study titled Research progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes noted, “Short-wave blue light with wavelength between 415 nm and 455 nm is closely related to eye light damage.”
Their statements about blue light exposure are worrisome… “Long exposure time to blue light causes a worsening of visual fatigue and nearsightedness”… “Causes irreversible photochemical retinal damage” (permanently injures the retina)… “May lead to the development of cataracts.”
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to seek professional advice and take action to protect yourself against the harm triggered by blue light exposure.
How to reverse blue light damage?
As you spend more time viewing a digital screen, your risk of eye strain, blue light damage and other signs and symptoms increases. It’s not surprising, really. If we ate non-stop and walked without respite, both our bodies and shoes would eventually wear down. So it is with our eyes.
We must take steps to reduce this wear, to provide rest from the onslaught.
The American Optometric Association recommends we:
- Employ the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes view an object 20 feet (six metres) away for 20-seconds
- Correct vision problems
- Reduce screen glare
- Change work duties throughout the day
- Minimise blue light exposure
In an ideal world, we would reduce our use of digital devices. This is not possible for many during their workday. Their operation is so enmeshed in our modern-day lives that this very thought can bring with it chills and anxiety. So, if giving up backlit tech is not an option for you, anti blue light glasses and screens work a treat.
As an article published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology noted, “… When we use blue light rich products at night, the approved anti-blue light glasses or screen cover may be a good choice to avoid blue light-induced injury.” As chronic exposure bumps up the risk of symptoms and longterm damage, this advice is sound for daily protection, too.
There is a point in time where the tiny, accumulative insults step over into potentially permanent damage. When this happens, we may not be able to reverse the injury. It’s important to take steps before irreversible eye damage occurs.
But we can protect our eyes from blue light and glare; we can calm computer vision syndrome and we can be proactive in our working day and evening pursuits. Expertly designed computer glasses form a crucial step in this fight.
What to look for in computer glasses?
Research continues to reveal the potential damage caused by longterm exposure to blue light and glare. This makes computer glasses a sensible and required strategy.
But, as with all discoveries, there are experts and interlopers.
There are companies, like us here at Ocushield, who are dedicated to the wellbeing of our customers, inspired by research, and driven to make a difference in our world. There are others who jump into the fray with second-rate offerings, hoping only to profit. You must ensure your computer glasses, as the saying goes, “Do what they say on the box.” They must block blue light!
So what should you look for in your new computer glasses?
The first recommendation is that they are FDA-approved. The approval process provides assurance that your specs are “up to spec”; that they are science-backed and effective.
They must provide a crystal clear picture (otherwise you won’t use them)!
They ought to incorporate anti-glare, anti-fog and full UV protection to reduce harm from other sources and be useable indoors and outdoors.
Better yet, they should be designed and developed by health experts who intimately understand the eyes and hold clinical expertise in this field. At Ocushield, our computer glasses are conceived and created by Optometrists.
If you work or spend hours in front of a backlit screen, we believe evidence-based computer glasses are an essential piece of kit. The harm caused by artificial light sources is significant. Computer glasses provide a protective barrier against the accumulation of light-induced eye trauma. As such, they can be the difference between eye health and general wellbeing, or not.