Prolonged Computer Use Can Affect The Eyes

A variety of eye symptoms are associated with prolonged use of a computer terminal. Most patients experience dryness and itchiness of the eye as well as fatigue. In most cases, some simple remedies will alleviate these symptoms.

Most computers are a little farther away than normal reading distance. Therefore, an adjustment in the design of glasses may help. There are special ‘desktop glasses’ that specifically aid for mid-range and near tasks and have been beneficial to many patients.

Periodic breaks are very important. You should stare off into the distance about 4-5 minutes during the work day to prevent what is known as accommodative spasm. When we look close, our eyes have to accommodate to change focus. Prolonged accommodation can result in the eyes “locking in” at the closer distance. This can cause headaches and may lead to blurred vision in the distance or difficulty changing focus from one visual point to another.

The use of an ocular lubricant will keep the ocular surface moist and clean. This reduces the red, watery and itchy symptoms that occur with computer use.

Many of the eye symptoms associated with the prolonged use of computers can be decreased by updating your glasses prescription, periodic rest breaks and the use of ocular lubricants.

Charles J Hickey, M.D. F.A.C.S. Columbus Ophthalmology Associates