Gadgets and eye strain

September 22, 2010 8:35:35 PM PDT
If you are squinting more, you are not alone.

All of the computer, blackberry and iPad use is accelerating eye fatigue.

Most of us wouldn't dream of giving up our blackberries or computers.

For attorney Bob Pickar, it's essential.

"I start reading on my laptop or my blackberry or my cell phone, probably at about 7:30 in the morning and I don't stop probably until 11:30 at night," Pickar said.

But the information age is straining out eyes in alarming numbers.

80% of us use computers for hours at a time.

The additional glare and lack of contrast puts an enormous strain on our eyes.

If you wear glasses already or have a pre-existing condition, it can get much worse.

"For anybody who's susceptible to dry eyes or any type of lubrication problem, contact lens wearers can be susceptible to dry eyes, they need to lubricate more, and so they'll have more eye strain and difficulty because of that," said Dr. Jay Wisnick, of the Beth Israel Medical Center.

Those with eye muscle conditions really feel the strain.

Bob Pickar's lazy eye was getting progressively worse.

"It was starting to get worse to read as one eye would go off and I'd have to pull it back in, but the more you do on screen reading the more difficult I was finding it would become, I was becoming too fatigued from trying to read," Pickar said.

Dr. Wisnick wound up performing surgery to correct the condition and now Bob can read at length with no problem.

You can relieve your tired baby blues with a variety of different lenses, including some bi-focals.

"Make sure the eye glasses are accurate, if you have dry eyes, treating your dry eyes with lubricating eye drops, and if you are really having symptoms see your eye doctor, see your ophthalmologist so that they can check things like this, your eye muscle balance, those things can really help dramatically," Dr. Wisnick said.