Screens and your vision

Dre Morggan Debaets


By Dr Morggan Debaets, optometrist

Co-owner of Alliance Opto-Réseau clinics
of St-Félicien and Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix



Did you know that for every 45 minutes you spend on a computer or tablet, you should rest your eyes for 15 minutes? Grab a glass of water, talk to your kids, take a walk—just give your eyes a break.

Computers, LED TVs, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones have been a fixture of everyday life for several years now. In 2014, Canadians spent an average of 8 hours a day in front of a screen, so it’s important to know how all this screen time is affecting our eyes.

LED screens give off visible waves that hit our eyes and can cause eye fatigue and cell damage over time. And we usually sit very close to our screens, which creates additional eyestrain. To make matters worse, screens suppress our blink reflex, which is why optometrists often hear patients complain of heaviness, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing brought on by screen use. Some antireflective coatings can now filter this harmful blue light to relieve some of this discomfort.

Some glasses are also designed especially for computer users. They take into account people’s working posture to enhance postural and visual comfort. Anti-fatigue lenses are also available for people who read for extended periods of time.

At Opto-Réseau, our optometrists can help make working in front of a screen more comfortable. They can give you tips on your posture and screen location and recommend eye drops. And our opticians can help you choose the best glasses and antireflective coatings for you, whether your screen time is for work or play.