Using electronic devices for reading is not necessarily a bad thing. However, reading on screens for extended amounts of time can cause digital eye strain. Are there contact lenses designed specifically for people who spend lots of time in front of a screen?
According to the Vision Council, 80 percent of American adults use devices with screens for more than two hours daily, and are at high risk of developing eye strain.
Our digital world is filled with blue light, but 72% of our population is unaware of its dangers. Over time excessive exposure may increase the likelihood of eyestrain and macular degeneration. Blue light can be emitted from both natural and man-made sources.
Digital screens can emit blue light. These include laptops, smartphones, tablets, televisions, computers, and other electronic devices. It is also found in fluorescent and LED lighting.
It has been proven that certain eye discomforts and vision problems are related to the frequency, length of time, and ways you interact with digital screens. The amount of time you spend on digital devices (even your cell phone) directly correlates with your level of discomfort.
Now that we understand the problems that extended screen time can cause, are there ideal contact lens options to help prevent that?
Since one of the issues caused by screens is that we blink less often, contact lenses meant to keep your eyes moist, such as silicone hydrogel lenses, can help prevent them from drying out. They can also be supplemented by using rewetting drops as needed.
Lenses that are smoother, and have less friction while moving across the eye, will cause less irritation and help reduce the feeling of tired eyes after a long day of staring at screens.
More recently, some companies have started making contact lenses with computer users in mind. One such example is Biofinity Energys™ Contact Lenses with Digital Zone Optics™, made by CooperVision. These lenses have a specially designed curved surface to reduce eye strain, and also utilize technology to help the eyes retain moisture and not become dry, even if you aren’t blinking as often as you should.
Some new lenses are also designed specifically to filter out blue light, one of the potential causes of eye strain experienced while using electronic devices. They work in a similar way to photochromic lenses (which darken when exposed to sunlight), darkening when exposed to blue light and thus filtering out most UV and blue light before it reaches the eyes. (It should be noted, however, that while these lenses function in a similar manner to photochromic lenses, they are not replacements for actual sunglasses and should not be used as such.)
Even though specific contact lenses can reduce digital eye strain, you can minimize it by taking a few simple steps.
Contact lenses are medical devices, so you should not make a decision to buy any sort of contact lenses without first speaking with your eye doctor. They will be best able to recommend lenses for you, and can provide additional assistance if you are experiencing computer-related eye strain.