If you are in front of the computer daily, you may have wondered, “Can computers make my eyes worse?”
More than 50% of our adult patients at Bright Vision Optometry report using the computer for more than 6 hours a day. Not to mention, we find that most computer users are not just in front of 1 screen, but in front of multiple screens.
Last week, one of our patients reported working on 4 different screens for 8 hours a day! Now that’s a lot of screen time for a pair of eyes!
With our increased usage of digital devices, there is a growing worry that digital devices that are helping us navigate our lives may actually be harming our eyes. So let’s answer the pressing question, “Can computers make my eyes worse?”
Eyesight vs. Eye Damage
For the purpose of answering our question, we will separate “eyes worse” into 2 categories: eyesight and eye damage. As we probe to find the answer to our question, let’s explore the differences between eyesight and eye damage.
Eyesight is simply a person’s ability to see. So the question we will answer is, “Can computers make my eyesight worse?”
In other words, can working in front of computers make my vision worse? Will my prescription increase because of my computer use?
Eye damage refers to any damage to the overall health of the eyes. Eye damage includes conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration or any other conditions that harm the health of the eyes.
So the question we will answer is, “Can computers harm or damage my eyes?”
Can Computers Make My Eyesight Worse?
Probably to one’s surprise, the answer is no. Working on the computer does not make your eyesight worse.
Eye prescription changes are due to natural changes to the eyeball size and shape. Working in front of the computer will not cause changes to your eyeball size and shape. Therefore, computers have little to no influence on changes to your natural eye prescription.
Keep in mind, heavy computer use can cause temporary blurry vision when eyes become too fatigued to see properly.
Parents, there is research evidence that students and young kids who spend many hours working on near-viewing tasks, such as reading textbooks, tend to become nearsighted. Additionally, kids who spend more time playing outside tend to have better distance vision.
It is now a fact that over 2 hours of screen time a day for children can do damage. Heavy computer or iPad use in kids can increase their risk of becoming nearsighted. It’s still too early to say how long-term digital device use could change eyesight in kids.
Can Computers Damage My Eyes?
Computers can cause temporary eye damage. However, permanent eye damage is still unknown.
Temporary eye issues such as eye strain, tired eyes, headaches, dry eyes, eye discomfort, and difficulty focusing are common among computer users. These issues have been bundled into the medical term “Computer Vision Syndrome” or CVS.
Digital devices, like the computer, emit significant amounts of blue light. There is a growing concern among eye doctors about the possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health.
Blue light can penetrate into the eyes, and research has shown that blue-light can damage cells in the retina. The long term effects of blue light on human eyes are still uncertain. There is a growing concern that blue light damage can contribute to early cataracts and macular degeneration.
There are still many questions that need to be answered about blue light and its relationship to our eyes. While scientists work toward the answers, the best thing we can do right now is to protect our eyes with blue light blocking computer glasses.
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709.