Facts about Your Vision and The Computer

Good vision at the computer is not the same as good vision for driving or playing golf.

The famous vision standard "20/20" is a distance test. If you pass you can see well at twenty feet and beyond.

Your computer is at twenty inches, and the visual skills you need for work at that distance far exceed what is needed for driving. Workers who spend two or more hours a day at the computer often have difficulties or discomfort that they do not attribute to the vision because they have been told they see 20/20.

To perform well at the computer the eyes must:

  • Focus for near and hold focus for an extended time
  • Move smoothly and efficiently across lines of print
  • Work together so both look at the same place on the screen
  • Remain aware of the whole screen to find anything you are looking for

None of these skills are tested in most doctors' eye examination. All you get is a test of the health of the eyes and a prescription, if you need one, for seeing at twenty feet.

Behavioral optometrists examine the health of the eyes and the distance vision just as all optometrists do but in addition they make a special series of tests of the near vision and the skills needed for efficient and comfortable performance at the computer.

Anyone working at a computer needs a thorough evaluation of their vision early in their employment, before difficulties arise that can lead to headaches, poor performance or nearsightedness, among other symptoms.

This office specializes in the visual evaluation of computer users. Dr. Loewenstein is co-author of "Total Health at the Computer," a self-help book for computer users. Call the office for an appointment or to order a copy of the book.