At both home and the office, patients are spending an increasing portion of their day using computers.
Many patients complain of eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes, contact lens intolerance, frequent blinking and other computer related ocular complaints. To minimize these adverse effects our doctors can analyze a patient's individual computer demands and work station ergonomics to arrive at an optimum computer prescription or other vision related recommendation for computer use. Our recommendations may be the key to making computer related work less stressful, more comfortable and more productive.
- Most conventional reading activities are performed at about a 16" reading distance. Computer monitors, however, are often placed at a 20-26" distance. The intermediate computer monitor distance requires an entirely different prescription than a conventional reading prescription.
- Progressive "no line" bifocals and trifocals do provide an intermediate prescription portion, however, the intermediate lens area is too small for prolonged computer work. An individualized computer prescription may be prescribed that provides a much larger field of view than most bifocal or trifocal designs.
- Most conventional near demands are in down gaze such as while reading a book or doing desk work. Computer demands involve near tasks in down gaze (the keyboard or reference text), as well as the unique computer related intermediate demands in a straight ahead gaze ( the computer monitor). Most bifocals only provide near prescriptions in down gaze.
- Computer monitors can create uncomfortable glare and contrast conditions. Reflection free and other ophthalmic coatings can eliminate 99% of disturbing glare and reflections, while increasing computer monitor visual contrast.
- Proper visual hygiene can further improve visual comfort and performance by taking a short break (15 minutes) every two hours.
- Computer workstations should be set up a way so as to avoid glare and reflections from windows and other sources of illumination.
- Computer contrast demands coupled with computer flicker often lead patients to stare at the computer monitor and result in a decreased blink frequency. Eventually the decrease in blink rate leads to a dehydration of the tear layer resulting in red, dry, burning eyes. Frequent voluntary blinking can reduce these effects. When necessary, artificial tears can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.