Join 3,379 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Wearing corrective lenses for near-sightedness while spending hours looking at LCD computer monitor
December 14, 2004 8:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm near-sighted and wear contact lenses to see stuff far away. I also work at a computer all day. Is it damaging to wear my lenses and stare at an LCD panel? Should I not wear my lenses when I'm working?
posted by ao4047 to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
 
I'm near sighted and wear toric soft lenses. I stare at monitor for at least 12 hours per day. I've not noticed any problems other than my eyes get dry toward the end of the. I've asked my optomotrist and he has said that wearing contacts has no negative effect on my sight when working.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:35 AM on December 14, 2004


I am also nearsighted, and wear glasses to see far away. I am now 38, and have worn glasses since I was in fourth grade. I have always worn them all the time, and it has never done any damage. Switching from a CRT to an LCD panel, since it is flicker free, has been a huge improvement.

I have found that as I get older, and my distance prescription gets stronger, I have a harder time focusing on very near objects. In fact, over the last two years, I have started to take my glasses off when reading. My eye doctor assures me that this is not damage, but a natural fact of aging. The muscles in the eye weaken as we age, and they can't adjust as well between near and far. However, I sit about 21 inches away from my screen, so that is far enough away to keep my glasses on.

I have also tried the no-line bifocals, with a weaker prescription on the bottom for close up, but they were more trouble than they were worth. Now I just get smaller frames, (which are in style right now anyway) and look out the bottom past the lenses if I need to see something very close.

Probably more than you needed...but to sum up- no lasting damage, but you may face changes as you age.
posted by Futurehouse at 8:43 AM on December 14, 2004


I'm nearsighted as well and just had my eyes examined last month. My optometrist seemed to be of the opinion that the fact that I usually take off my glasses when working at the computer was a good thing.

She said that using corrective lenses for a long time for activities where you don't need to use them (i.e. reading a book, staring at a computer screen) is not preferable. Your eyes adjust to the lenses, even though you could see without them. The impression I got is that over time you might suffer a slight degradation of your vision, to the extent that you would not be able to see as far without your corrective lenses.

That being said, it didn't seem to be a significant concern if I *did* wear glasses while using the computer, more that it was a good sign if I was comfortable *not* wearing them.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:55 AM on December 14, 2004


using corrective lenses for a long time for activities where you don't need to use them (i.e. reading a book, staring at a computer screen) is not preferable. Your eyes adjust to the lenses, even though you could see without them. The impression I got is that over time you might suffer a slight degradation of your vision, to the extent that you would not be able to see as far without your corrective lenses.

I wish somebody would have told me that 35 years ago, when I needed glasses to read the blackboard but could see closer in just fine.
posted by davy at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2004


Optometrists have always advised me to not wear my contacts "all the time," which I don't anyway because I never find them as comfortable as glasses. I know it's true that one doesn't blink as often when staring at a monitor or TV, so it may increase the likelihood of injury by letting the lenses dry out too much and allowing the eye to get scratched.

After 20 years of progressively worse nearsightedness, my vision has started getting incrementally better. My optometrist insists it's not age-related farsightedness (I'm probably young for that anyway), but the spread of LCD monitors. It's true that I use LCDs exclusively now, so maybe he's on to something.
posted by nev at 10:34 AM on December 14, 2004


A couple of years back, I found that after sitting all day at the computer, I was having trouble getting my eyes to focus at longer distances. Street signs, etc. just didn't snap into focus -- I had to work at it. I have a very strong correction and wear gas-perm contacts.

He explained that during computer work, my eyes were having to work hard in compensation for my sharp, corrected distance vision. They were basically becoming cramped up from all the near-work and didn't want to "relax" into their default focus range when I was done.

He prescribed a pair of computer glasses (just custom reading glasses, really) to be worn over my contacts. The additional magnification lets my eyes be more relaxed. It seems a little paradoxical at first, but it made a huge difference for me. My distance vision returned in a few days.

I had a nice, expensive pair made but could have accomplished the same thing with Walgreens reading glasses. You could give it a try and see if it's more comfortable. Seems it can't hurt, and might help prevent problems.
posted by Tubes at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2004


We just asked our optometrist this last month. Basically, he said that you're fine, IF you're so nearsighted to need your correction to see at the distance you're working. Me, blind as a bat, I need mine for the computer.

Personally, changing to two-week throwaways made a huge difference for my vision quality. The year-long-keepers got dirty and wouldn't get clean enough for my eyes. If you're not on disposables, and you could wear them, you might want to switch.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:24 PM on December 14, 2004


I'm nearsighted as well and just had my eyes examined last month. My optometrist seemed to be of the opinion that the fact that I usually take off my glasses when working at the computer was a good thing.

wanted to chime in and say, ditto.

my eyes hurt if i work all day in front of the computer with glasses on.
posted by fishfucker at 12:35 PM on December 14, 2004


I can't read a book or monitor clearly without my glasses or contact lenses on, so I'm pretty much wearing one or the other whenever I'm awake. I don't think it's made things worse. Either way, I'm hoping they'll perfect laser or waveform or whatever eye correction surgery soon so it won't even be a problem anymore! :)
posted by swank6 at 6:19 PM on December 14, 2004


For years now I've been using my glasses only to drive and contacts in social settings. At work I go around blurry, which is okay since I can focus perfectly to about three feet.
posted by codger at 10:07 AM on December 16, 2004


« Older Typesetting. I'm typesetting a...   |  Making an "updatable"... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.