Many people experience eye strain from using a computer for long periods. This has been given the name Computer Vision Syndrome and consists of such problems as fatique, headache, dry eyes, eyestrain, blurred vision and double vision.

The cause. This has been attributed to glare from overhead lights, glare from the screen, poor contrast, reflections, poor lighting, squinting, infrequent blinking resulting in dry eyes, focusing close for long periods of time, ultraviolet light or "radiation" from the screen, inadequate screen resolution, etc. Also, letters on a computer screen consist of round pixels of light that form letters which are not sharply defined on the edges, different from the solid lines of normal print. This can create difficulty for the brain to accurately control focusing effort, resulting in blurred vision. The eye can tend to constantly shift its focus from the print to a point farther away and back again, causing fatigue. Various types of tinted glasses in various powers have been offered for sale to reduce the discomfort of computer work, but they often do not live up to their promises. Usually, the glasses seem to help for a while but then the old symptoms reappear.

However, many computer users DO need a pair of glasses for their computer work that is different from the glasses they use for their other common visual needs. In other cases, they may have a vision disorder that would not otherwise require correction if they weren't performing a demanding visual job such as at the computer. Even people with excellent unaided vision could need glasses just for computer use. These are called "computer glasses".

The solution. It would seem that pinhole glasses offer as good a solution to this problem as it is possible to find, and at a much lower cost than other options. Glare from above or the sides is reduced by looking through the holes. The depth of field increases. Also, the focusing effort, or accommodation, is reduced, just as if you put on a weak pair of reading glasses. This also reduces the possibility of developing myopia from the constant close work, in those who are prone to do so. Ultraviolet, or other forms of radiation, have been shown to be of no consequence.

Monovision. If contacts or eyeglasses are tailored so that one eye sees clearly up close and the other eye sees clearly in the distance, this is called monovision. Something similar can be done with pinholes by removing one lens and looking through the opening, rather than the pinhole grid, with that eye. Some people find this arrangement beneficial.

Trying a pair of pinholes is the only way to find out if they are helpful in any particular case. To order, visit CaribbeanEyes.

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