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Devices, Vision, Sleep

March 12th, 2015 by Derrick

A large number of people are spending many hours in front of a computer screen. Is this ruining their vision? What can be done to prevent or lessen the effects on their vision?
An even larger number of people have their mobile devices close to them all day and all night. Any research results on the effects of this?

Vision
When sitting in front of a computer screen for an extended period, eye strain becomes a problem. Does eye strain progressively ruin our vision? The experts can’t seem to agree on this but anecdotal evidence is, yes it does.
There are numerous proposals to lessen the effects of prolonged computer use. I want to tell you of one that has worked for me. I can attest to the use of weaker “reading glasses” for use on a computer. I have optometrist prescribed glasses for reading paper books and weaker glasses for reading computer screens. My distance vision is fine. This has served me well for about 20 years. I do a lot of reading and spend many hours in front of a computer screen. There has been no need to increase the strength of either glasses.
You don’t need optometrist prescribed “reading glasses”. About two years ago, I sat on my “reading glasses” and broke it. I replaced it with $3 glasses from the Dollar Shop. The glasses are working well.

A comment on a HN article has an interesting take on eyewear:
“I have 20/20 vision, but I have a $10 pair of reading glasses (+1 diopter) that I will put on when I feel eye strain setting in. This effectively moves the focal point of my monitor further away (close to the edge of my focal range), allowing/forcing my eyes to focus differently. After a few hours, when eye strain again sets in, I remove the glasses (hence moving the focal point back closer to me).
I’ve been doing this the past five years, during which I spend most of my waking hours in front of a monitor. My vision has not noticeably deteriorated, nor do I experience persistent eye strain.”

Sleep
Using mobile devices an hour before bed or in bed or in darkened room causes poor sleep. The research results are quite clear on this. Two main causes of poor sleep have been identified:
a. over-stimulation – instant messages, listen to music, emails, play games, and surf the Internet.
b. light exposure on the photoreceptors in the retina.
This causes the users to be less sleepy at night and less alert the following morning.
There is one simple remedy – don’t do it. Reserve going to bed for sleep. Don’t mess with your daily light-dark cycles.

Summary
Changing the focal point reduces eye strain.
Don’t go to bed with your mobile devices.

2 responses to “Devices, Vision, Sleep”

  1. Derrick says:

    Good article that is sight related. Ways to prevent myopia, also known as short-sightedness.
    http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120
    Hope the scientists are right. We can then prevent myopia in our children.

  2. DJ says:

    Thanks for sharing. I shared this excellent article on Twitter. Feel free to follow me @divinjantjies

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