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How Technology Affects Our Eyes

The world has changed drastically in the last 30 years, and most changes bring with them positive and negative consequences. Ask a millennial when they last used a phone book. Most likely you will get a quizzical look.

Our cell phones, laptops, tablets, personal computers and all other screens in between, can have an affect on our eye health. Although there are no proven cases of permanent damage, there are correlations with more subtle symptoms. According to a recent national survey cited by Scientific American, we spend nearly nine hours using technology per day. Naturally our eyes can become very strained, dry and can cause headaches.

Some Negative Consequences

Use of computers, smart phones, tablets, e-readers and the like is practically universal. Many people spend their entire day focused on their screens. Yes, they can help us find immediate information, perform our jobs, and connect with friends at a moment’s notice. It provides that instant gratification we all have learned to crave and expect.

But it is the amount of time we spend focused on our screens that affects both our eyes and our health.

Eye Strain

When we stare at computers or handheld devices for a long time we can develop eye strain and headaches.

Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS

Young people and children are especially susceptible to this syndrome as they continually utilize devices. Many researchers believe this will increase the number of nearsighted patients over the next decade because children’s eyes are not fully developed.

Dry Eyes

Blinking helps keep our eyes moist and comfortable. While looking at devices we tend to blink less, and this in turn leads to dry eyes.

Since we are not going to give up our computers, there are some tips to alleviate these negative issues.

  • While at work periodically look up from your computer. Look across the room or out the window to change your focus from near to far.
  • Take breaks from your workstation, get some coffee or water at regular intervals.
  • Limit the amount of time you allow your children to be on their devices each day..

Some Positive Consequences of Technology On Our Eyes

Consider how many advances have been made to improve our vision in the last 20 years. The development of the excimer laser paved the way for LASIK surgery. This laser changes the shape of our cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It has given millions freedom from glasses and contact lenses.

Other advances have made cataract surgery an everyday affair. Not only can ophthalmologists remove cataracts safely, but they can give patients the best vision for the rest of their lives with laser cataract surgery.

It is possible to manage the negative consequences of technology if we pay attention to how we and our family utilize devices of all kinds.

At the same time you can take advantage of the wonderful visual advancements technology has provided.

Contact South Texas Eye Institute if you are interested in LASIK,
or think you could be developing computer vision syndrome.
We are here to help with all vision issues.