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Computer vision syndrome: The dangers of modern living

As you’re reading the pixelated words projected onto this screen, I regret to inform you that your eyes are losing their childhood suppleness. A downhill slope awaits.

Presbyopia is caused by the loss of elasticity in the lens, typically affecting middle and old age; screens only hurry this process. Perhaps you’ll combat presbyopia by distancing the screen with an extended arm; this is a somewhat reflex act that attempts to combat squinting, by making it easier for the lens to focus. Or you might enlarge the font size to a progressive/regressive (depending on your attitude) level. Both of these measures, however, combat the consequences rather than the root of the issue.

Laser eye surgery combats the root of the problem, as it ensures vision is lastingly corrected.

But we must also look beyond the eye, and into the cause. Screens. Our dependence on them and the addictive nature of brightness. Like morphine, it persuades us to increase the level ad nauseum until we find we are blinded like moths to a bulb.

Perhaps we should change the objects we look at, as well as our perception of them. With the rise in Virtual Reality, are phones becoming our reason for vision?

Where is the ink? Displaced from the physicality of the page, it now exists somewhere upon the screen. But precisely where? The bulbs that create the screen emit light, rather than definitively place it in the realm of the physical. Our eyes now have to do the positioning.

Let us cast our minds back to our ancestors. Before the reign of technology, our eyes dwelt outside, exposed only to the natural elements. Our gaze transitioned from the panoramic highlands to compressed, short-sighted city settings, and we spend more time than ever with our eyes glued to the screen.

Anti-glare technology, rest breaks, blue-filtering lenses and blinking help to reduce eye-strain. 65% of American adults complain of eye-strain.

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About the experts

Meet the My-iClinic founders, Mr John Bolger and Ms Bola Odufuwa. Two consultant eye surgeons who made it their life goal to make your life better.

bola

Bola Odufuwa

Consultant Ophthalmologist Clinic Director MBBS DO FRCS (Ed) FRCOphth MSc

Bola Odufuwa is a consultant ophthalmologist at The Royal Free Hospital and My-iClinic. Her specialities include cataract, glaucoma, paediatric, and laser refractive surgery. Bola has had extensive training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, where she gained expertise in the management of various eye conditions.

Bola Odufuwa’s special interests include optimal refractive outcomes following cataract surgery, non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, and assessment eyesight in children with special needs: particularly dyslexia and autism.

john

Mr John Bolger

Consultant Ophthalmologist Clinic Director FRCS DO FEBOS -CR

John Bolger is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinic Director at My-iClinic. His specialities include ophthalmology, laser refractive surgery (SMILE, Presbyond, LASIK, PRK, PTK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment and macular degeneration.

Over the course of his career, John Bolger has carried out over 35,000 cataract operations, 20 of which were for eye surgeons. He has also taught over 1500 young ophthalmologists worldwide as they begin their surgical careers.