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Computers and Your Vision: Tips for Contact Lens Users

Woman wearing contacts and experiencing computer vision syndrome while working at computer

When wearing contacts, you may notice increased eye sensitivity while working at your computer. Staring at a screen all day reduces your blink rate and causes you to blur and refocus your vision often, leading to dryness, irritation, eye strain and fatigue. Here’s what you need to know about computer vision syndrome (CVS) and how you can alleviate the symptoms.

What’s Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome, also called digital eye strain, is caused by the stress placed on your eyes after reading or viewing images on a digital screen for hours at a time. The most common symptoms associated with CVS include:

  • Eyestrain

  • Headaches

  • Blurred vision

  • Dry eyes

  • Neck and shoulder pain

People who wear contact lenses must be especially mindful of how much time they spend at a computer screen and take precautions to avoid digital eye strain.

Causes of Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain while wearing contacts can be caused by more than just staring at computer screens. The symptoms can be exacerbated by:

  • Poor lighting

  • Glare on a digital screen

  • Improper viewing distances

  • Poor seating posture

  • Uncorrected vision problems

Why Do My Contacts Make My Screen Blurry?

Does your computer screen look blurry, even when wearing your contact lenses? There may be several reasons for this, including:

  • You’re using the wrong lenses Contact lenses prescribed for general use aren’t always best for computer work. You may need lenses with a different prescription to meet the unique visual demands of computer viewing. Lenses with special tints or coatings may also improve your vision and comfort.

  • Your lenses don’t fit Contact lenses that don’t fit correctly can cause strain and discomfort. Contacts that are too loose, too tight or poorly centred on your eye can also lead to eye strain and blurred vision. Your eye doctor can determine your prescription and measure and examine your eyes to find the best contact lenses for you. Poorly fitting contact lenses also increase the risk of infection.

  • Your prescription needs updating Over time, your prescription can change. For example, you may be experiencing presbyopia, a common age-related eye condition. As you get older, your natural eye lenses become less flexible, making it difficult to see at different distances. Presbyopia makes close-up images harder to see, leading to eye strain and headaches when working on close-up tasks and blurred vision at normal reading distances. An eye doctor can diagnose presbyopia during a general eye exam and can recommend the best way forward.

Are There Contact Lenses Designed for Computer Use?

The best way to reduce eye strain and fatigue is to get contact lenses or eyeglasses that are perfectly suited to your vision correction needs. New advancements in contact lenses for computer users can provide UV protection and extended-wear options to fit your lifestyle. At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we carry contact lenses designed for computer users, including lenses that help prevent dryness and dehydration caused by digital eye strain.

Tips for People Who Wear Contacts and Work at Computer Screens

If you wear contact lenses and work at a computer all day, try the following techniques to alleviate the symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Adjust your seat When your gaze is relaxed and you’re looking straight ahead, you should be staring just above your monitor. Keeping your seat and screen at the appropriate level will not only help your eyes but also keep your neck and back in a comfortable position as you work throughout the week.

  • Blink It may sound and feel silly to do, but making a conscious effort to blink will help keep your contacts from drying out. Especially when you’re focused on work, it can be easy to blink less often when staring at a lit screen.

  • Look elsewhere Take a break every 20 minutes by looking away from your computer for at least 20 seconds. Focus on something six metres away and keep your eyes moving during this rest period. It will help relieve strain and limit eye fatigue throughout the day.

  • Reduce glare Try to position your screen away from a window. The brightness behind your screen can add stress to your eyes. Similarly, if the room is too dark it can cause discomfort. Make sure the room is well-lit.

  • Stay hydrated Drink lots of water throughout the day to help keep your body and eyes hydrated.

Finally, visit an eye doctor annually to update your prescription and get tested for other eye conditions.

Contact Lenses for Computer Users in Edmonton

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we can help get you properly fitted contact lenses to maintain good vision health and productivity. Our optometrists can diagnose computer vision syndrome and other vision issues with a general eye exam. We can also recommend the best way to treat digital eye strain. Contact us today at one of our locations in Alberta to learn more or to book your appointment with an eye doctor.


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