I Love my phone, but...
(Computer Vision Syndrome
and anti-fatigue lenses)
I love my phone.
I love that the moment I have a question, I can just google the answer… and then somehow lose three hours of my day following a rabbit warren of amazing ideas, reading about anything and everything. I love that I can have a half hour messenger chat with my friends without getting off the lounge. I love that I can put my earphones in and watch TED talks while my spouse watches TV in the same room. (This truly is togetherness in the modern era.)
However. I do not love the little frown I can feel in the middle of my forehead. Or that when I look up after an hour of "research”, I have to blink a few times to see properly again. Or that my eyes feel scratchy. Or that I can’t sleep for hours after I put my phone down and turn off the light.
This is computer vision syndrome. It has always happened with intensive near activity, even when reading books, but with our increasing use of digital devices, held much closer to our eyes than we would hold a book, people are experiencing this visual discomfort and dysfunction more and more. We see it in children, in uni students and in adults. It happens because our eyes aren’t designed to work that hard, that close, for that long - and they get tired. Additionally, the blue light emitted by digital devices is hard on the eyes, causing strain and upsetting our body clock so that we have trouble "switching off” at night.
Fortunately, lens manufacturers have designed lenses to combat these problems. Anti-fatigue lenses are worn like a normal pair of general wear spectacles, but also provides focusing support in the lower part of the lens so that the eye can focus up close for longer without getting tired out or tensed up. They often also include a blue-blocker coating that prevents the discomfort-inducing blue light from entering the eye and disrupting our sleep patterns.
So, no more eyestrain, no more blur when I look up, and I can sleep! But please, put your phone down an hour before bed – with an anti-fatigue lens your eyes might be more rested, but your brain still needs to slow down too.