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Visual Stress

Eye Strain & Headaches

Visual Stress from Near-Work and Digital Screens

Visual stress can be caused by viewing a digital screen or doing extensive near-work and often makes the eyes work harder. As a result, the high visual demands of digital screen viewing makes many individuals susceptible to the development of vision-related symptoms.

The extent to which individuals experience visual symptoms often depends on the amount of time spent looking at a digital screen or doing near-work. Uncorrected visual acuity problems, inadequate eye focusing abilities, and aging changes of the eyes can all contribute to the development of visual symptoms when using a computer or digital screen device.

Some individuals may experience reduced visual abilities, such as blurred distance vision, even after stopping work at a computer. If nothing is done to address the cause of the problem, the symptoms will continue to recur and perhaps worsen.

Dr. Frazer and other developmental optometrists take into consideration a patient’s history, general health problems, medications, and environmental factors that may be contributing to the symptoms related to computer use and near-work. In addition to determining the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive errors, Dr. Frazer also tests how the eyes focus, move and work together. In order to obtain a clear, single image, the eyes must effectively change focus, move and work as a team.

Vision problems that include eye focusing or eye coordination can’t be adequately corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. A program of vision therapy may be needed to treat these specific problems by training the eyes and brain to work together more effectively. These eye exercises help remediate deficiencies in eye movement, eye focusing and eye teaming and reinforce the eye-brain connection. Treatment often includes office-based as well as home training procedures.
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