College students are always typing papers, doing research, using social media, networking and applying for jobs. But what are the long-term effects of this excessive computer usage?
The Gesta Report from the Research Institute of Lighthouse International reports that 83 percent of students use computers daily and 57 percent of these students have impaired vision that is going to get
worse during their time in college.
Optometrist Dr. Sagar Amin said the affects vary per person, but looking at a computer does not give a person bad vision.
“We find that people who are already wearing prescribed glasses are the ones who have increased vision problems,” said Amin. “When a student comes in complaining about vision problems on the computer, my
team and I usually check for prescriptions. Sometimes the person’s prescription may need to be re-checked so we make sure we do that
before moving any further.”
Amin said students may suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). The condition comes from prolonged computer use and the most common symptoms are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.
“We also check to see if the person has eye alignment issues or focusing problems,” said Amin. “But a person could be prescribed computer glasses, which will be just for that.”
The American Optometric Association suggests ways to avoid CVS are to avoid glares on the computer screen, make sure there is a proper amount of lighting while using the computer, and, for those who already wear glasses, get anti-reflective coatings.
If students are experiencing vision problems while using a computer, they should visit the closest Optometrist as soon as possible.
“I’m actually very concerned about my vision right now because my eyes have been hurting lately when I’m on the computer, so I plan to get that checked out soon,” William Wright, a third-year business administration student, said. “All students should take this matter very seriously.”