First World Problems

Reading This May Blind You: The Perils of Computer Vision Syndrome

Kill your computer, cuddle your smart phone
gty open eye jef 110330 wg Reading This May Blind You: The Perils of Computer Vision Syndrome

Ouch. (Getty Images)

Computers are killing us. This is evident by the advent of yet another tech-related menace: Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome, or C.V.S.,  has joined Text Neck and Internet Withdrawal in the dark pantheon of newfangled maladies associated with our non-stop daily diet of digital distraction. If it’s easy to see this text you may be fine, but check out the American Optometric Association’s explanation of the disorder and list of symptoms (handy for use in a future a Workman’s Compensation claim!) anyway:

Computer Vision Syndrome describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use.

The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) are

  • eyestrain
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • dry eyes
  • neck and shoulder pain

If each bullet point in the A.O.A.’s list made your heart beat a little faster, have no fear–naturally, there are companies fully prepared to sell you products to combat the problem. Gunnar Optiks, founded by Matt and Jen Michelsen and Joe Croft (a former Business Unit General Manager for eyewear and apparel giant Oakley), carries a line of “Advanced Computer Eyewear” designed to relieve C.V.S.

Gunnar’s specs are priced from $79 and are blue-blockers with a decidedly Oakley-like wraparound design, which the company says has been found in tests “to keep in humidity that helps with dry eyes.” Gunnar Optiks investors include billionaire Peter Thiel, which suggests the lenses may have miraculous bubble-blocking properties as well.

One unanswered question–how will consumers manage their digital eyestrain blue-blockers once they’ve purchased their Google Terminator shades? Living in the future is complicated.

Follow Steve Huff via RSS. shuff@observer.com