You don’t have to suffer from Visual Fatigue
Have you ever thought about how many hours in the day you spend looking at a digital screen? I was thinking about it the other day, and really couldn’t believe that I focus my eyes on a digital screen an average of 8-10 hours per day during a typical week day. By digital screen, I mean any screen within arm’s length, whether it be my smartphone, iPad, Kindle or computer screen.
And I know I’m not alone. Between work, home, shopping and school, my average patient encounters computerized displays in one form or another almost constantly. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 100 million people in the U.S. spend over 50 percent of their workday at a computer.
Ever had a headache behind the eyes?
Each eyeball has 6 extra-ocular muscles that move and hold our eyes in place. If we’re focusing up close, those muscles turn the eyes in (convergence) and work to keep them turned in for as long as the demand is there. For some of us it’s easy. But for many of us (like me) it’s not. When you’ve spent a certain amount of time, the muscles will inevitably fatigue and probably start to fight each other to move to their natural resting posture. Think about if you were to extend your arms in front of you and cross them. It’s not difficult at first, but do it long enough and you’ll start to get negative feedback from your muscles. Same thing happens with the eyes.
If you’ve ever felt an ache behind the eyes, then your extra-ocular muscles are fatiguing. I also hear these aches described as hurting in the temples or the forehead. They’re often confused with sinus headaches, but rarely relieved with sinus medication. Other symptoms may include intermittent blur, losing your place while reading, or words moving around on the page.
Visual Fatigue Solutions
My favorite lens to recommend for tired eyes is Essilor’s Anti-Fatigue lens. It’s primarily designed for my pre-40 year-old patients and it gives a perfect little “power boost” on the bottom of the lens for near vision focusing. It’s intended as a replacement for single vision distance lenses. Also included is a glare reduction treatment in the lens to reduce glare caused by overhead lights or poor lighting conditions.
I’ve prescribed this lens for patients as young as 7 years old. My daughter wears these. Of course, I have a pair for myself. And I usually combine these with prism, if needed, for further eye strain relief. Our price runs at about $199 for the pair of lenses and we can fit them in virtually any frame. And they are very easy to adapt to. VERY easy.
So if you’re looking for eye strain relief, I want you to know that this is an option. iGadgets aren’t going anywhere, so eye fatigue symptoms will not be getting any better. I’ve already prescribed it twice this morning. We’ll see what happens after lunch.