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Eyes and Computer Use

Sophie

Lead Foot
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2003
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Sacramento, CA
  1. Attending Physician
    My vision is rapidly getting worse, and it's worrying me enough to post a message here in the hopes that some kind knowledgeable optometry buff will take pity on me (and if you do: :love: ).

    For people who don't like reading long posts: I'm on the computer all day at work, within 2.5 months of starting this job my perfect+ vision went to -0.5, and after another 2.5 months it's now to around -1.0. Skip down to the questions.

    I used to have better than 20/20 vision. I spent my childhood reading massive amounts of books, spent my college years reading massive amounts of textbooks, and never had any problems with my eyes. I started working full-time in an office for the first time August 30, 2004, where I spend most of the day on the computer. I noticed in mid November that I was having difficulty reading words at a distance (such as street signs) and went to an optometrist. He told me I was nearsighted, but it was minor.. just -0.5. I got glasses, and just used them occasionally as needed.

    Within the past week I've noticed that my vision's gotten way worse. I no longer feel safe driving without my glasses, and even when I'm wearing them things in the distance are still blurry. I'm guessing I'm at least down to -1.0 now, and I'm getting really concerned.

    My questions:

    1) Most importantly, once I stop having to be on the computer so much will my vision go back to normal or is this damage permanent?

    1a) Is it even the computer that's causing this, or am I jumping to conclusions?

    2) Is there anything I can do to stop this?

    3) Am I going to go blind? :(
     

    ituryu

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      Well without the complete eye exams I can't say for sure, but tentatively I would say you have computer vision syndrome, which would or should not lead to blindness, if there is no underlining problem. You would have to go back to your optometrist and give him or her a complete case history and make sure he explains everything he finds out to you. Then describe your work environment, the light condition, position of your computer and your posture when working on the PC. Also how long. There is vision therapy which you can under go.
      Keep the post coming I hope this will help you.
      Cheers.
       

      Sophie

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      Apr 14, 2003
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        Thanks for the reply. :)

        I decided to give my optometrist a call after I read what you wrote, just to see how much it would cost and when he could get me in. I ended up getting in today, and for a free recheck (my optometrist is a really nice guy). I tried to describe my case history and environment a bit, but I always feel kind of rushed at the doctor's office. But good news, he says that my eyes have adjusted now and shouldn't get too much worse. He doesn't recommend computer glasses because my eyes have already adjusted and computer glasses would be ineffective/make my eyes work hard all over again.

        Bad news is that he doesn't think the damage is reversible. :( He said if I get a new job off the computer it may go a little back to normal, but not much.

        I got a new prescription, and will hopefully be able to get the lenses for free as well, since he wrote on the prescription that it's a "Doctor Redo" (I guess meaning that he's claiming he made a mistake on my first prescription).

        Anyways, I'm still feeling sick about what's happened to my eyes, but at least it shouldn't get much worse.
         
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        Rosanna

        Not rejected by the CIA
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        15+ Year Member
        Jan 12, 2003
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        Berkeley, CA
        1. Optometrist
          Sophie said:
          I got a new prescription, and will hopefully be able to get the lenses for free as well, since he wrote on the prescription that it's a "Doctor Redo" (I guess meaning that he's claiming he made a mistake on my first prescription).


          Hi sophie:

          I'm glad things worked out for you. I didn't actually get to read your message until this morning and I was just going to suggest you to go back to your optometrist since it has been less than a year and most will do a recheck for free.

          Usually when a "Doctor Redo" is written, it doesn't actually mean he claims that he made a mistake the first time you were refracted. I'm fairly sure that you were found to be -0.50DS and then the myopia did increase later. If it is a redo, the doctor will most likely pay the cost of the lenses or if he will ask you to pay for the lenses at a discounted price.

          Best wishes,

          Rosanna
           

          ituryu

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            Sophie said:
            Thanks for the reply. :)

            I decided to give my optometrist a call after I read what you wrote, just to see how much it would cost and when he could get me in. I ended up getting in today, and for a free recheck (my optometrist is a really nice guy). I tried to describe my case history and environment a bit, but I always feel kind of rushed at the doctor's office. But good news, he says that my eyes have adjusted now and shouldn't get too much worse. He doesn't recommend computer glasses because my eyes have already adjusted and computer glasses would be ineffective/make my eyes work hard all over again.

            Bad news is that he doesn't think the damage is reversible. :( He said if I get a new job off the computer it may go a little back to normal, but not much.

            I got a new prescription, and will hopefully be able to get the lenses for free as well, since he wrote on the prescription that it's a "Doctor Redo" (I guess meaning that he's claiming he made a mistake on my first prescription).

            Anyways, I'm still feeling sick about what's happened to my eyes, but at least it shouldn't get much worse.
            I am glad to hear this but if you are still keeping your job may I suggest a bit of visual ergonomics and talk it over with your optometrist when you pick up your glasses.
            First make sure the room lighting is good enough not to cause any glare when you are looking at the computer, next tilt the PC down to about 10-15 degrees, kind of like when you are reading a book, and try the 20/20 rule of breaking ,i.e, work on the PC for 20mins and the try and blink for 20 secs. This tries to prevent irritation.
            Take care and have good vision.
             

            Sophie

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            Apr 14, 2003
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            1. Attending Physician
              ituryu said:
              First make sure the room lighting is good enough not to cause any glare when you are looking at the computer, next tilt the PC down to about 10-15 degrees, kind of like when you are reading a book, and try the 20/20 rule of breaking ,i.e, work on the PC for 20mins and the try and blink for 20 secs. This tries to prevent irritation.
              Take care and have good vision.

              Thanks for the tips. My current work environment is pretty much the opposite of everything you mentioned. It's easy enough to tilt my monitor and to find a lamp, but reminding myself to take a break every 20 minutes might be hard. I'll definitely try, though.

              ituryu said:
              I am glad to hear this but if you are still keeping your job may I suggest a bit of visual ergonomics and talk it over with your optometrist when you pick up your glasses.

              I'm moving in August and will be finding another job. Do you think it'd be worth it to look for something where I won't be on the computer as much? I'm perfectly willing to, as long as it'd make a difference.

              Thanks again. :)
               

              Sophie

              Lead Foot
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              Apr 14, 2003
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              Sacramento, CA
              1. Attending Physician
                Thanks for the reply, Rosanna. That's really nice that optometrists do rechecks for free.. if I'd known that as soon as I started worrying I would've saved myself a lot of stress. I guess he described a Doctor Redo to me as sort of a doctor's mistake just to make it really simple, then, but whatever it is, that's a really upstanding thing for docs to do.
                 

                ituryu

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                  Sophie said:
                  Thanks for the tips. My current work environment is pretty much the opposite of everything you mentioned. It's easy enough to tilt my monitor and to find a lamp, but reminding myself to take a break every 20 minutes might be hard. I'll definitely try, though.



                  I'm moving in August and will be finding another job. Do you think it'd be worth it to look for something where I won't be on the computer as much? I'm perfectly willing to, as long as it'd make a difference.

                  Thanks again. :)
                  That would be good, but would you be happy and I do believe that most jobs make use of computer, and so the 20/20 should be something that you have to learn on time to help improve your vision. Get a reminder tag and stick it to the computer. Take care.
                   
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