Protecting your eyes in a digital age

    6:18 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience some form of digital eye strain while using digital devices.

    In a new report, Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age (PDF), The Vision Council examines how the prolonged use of digital devices impact eye health.

    We live in a technical society where the average time spent in front of a computer or other digital device is increasing.  So, how does that affect our eyes?  Optometrist Dr. Danny Thomason says it's a condition he sees daily in his practice.

    "I probably have 3 to 4 patients a day who complain of fatigue, eye strain, and redness of the eye while staring at their computer."

    Dr. Thomason says it's often the result of spending too much time in front of a digital screen without allowing eyes to rest.

    He says this digital behavior creates a condition called Asthenopia.

    "Their eyes begin to feel tired, dry, gritty like there's sand in them. You may get headaches, you may get neck aches and it's all because people stare at digital devices."

    The fatigue is caused when the muscle that focuses our eye from far to near tightens after looking at a screen all day long. Thomason says to give your eyes a rest throughout the day.

    "Maybe once an hour stop looking at the computer and stare at an object a long way away, a distant object. That relaxes the eye muscle."

    Dr. Thomason says not to worry about long-term damage to the eye.

    "Studies have shown like I said, that when you turn away or don't look at the computer for a couple of weeks that all the symptoms disappear."

    Dr. Thomason says people who wear glasses and stare at computers should always get the anti-reflective coating on their glasses to help with the glare.

    He also said to remember to blink while staring at a digital screen. This will help avoid getting dry eyes.

    Twitter: @THVMeredith









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