EDINA, Minn. - From cell phones to tablets. And don't forget about your office computer. Minnesotans like Tom Lewis and Leo Padron stare at computer screens all day.
Lewis, founder of Thomas Lewis & Associates CPA's in Edina, lives in front of his computer this time of year. Lewis said during tax season, "I'm on here about 80 hours per week."
And so is Padron, president of Padron Watch Company LLC in Minneapolis. Using digital monitors is a big part of their jobs. But their computer usage could impact their eyes.
"I'm in front of my laptop and my computer monitor and Nexus 7 like all of the time," Padron said while working on his cell phone at a coffee shop in Golden Valley. "As a watch maker my eyes are important to me. I try to limit my screen time as much as possible."
And in a society where studies show 70 percent of Americans suffer from digital eye strain - or computer syndrome, Dr. Nathan Reader with Southdale Eye Clinic says walking away is important. But he also suggest some other methods.
"There are some lenses available that have special tints. That for certain people can reduce digital eye strain by cutting down on the glare," he said.
Reader said research shows lenses with a rose colored tint have helped some patients. The average cost is $135. Meanwhile, those who experience digital eye strain have the following symptoms: Red and dry eyes. Headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain.
Reader says artificial tears and Omega 3 fatty acids may help reduce those symptoms. Both can be purchased at your local grocery store.
"The strain may still be present but the symptoms of discomfort and irritation may improve," he said.
And if you still are experiencing discomfort at the computer, glasses with a special coat might also minimize harm.
Dr. Matthew Ramsey with Northwest Eye in Golden Valley said the special lenses block blue light from electronic devices that could potentially damage the retina.
"It blocks out blue light so that it cannot pass through the lens and cannot get into your eye," Ramsey said. "There is definitely evidence that these filters help. The industry that is making these lenses wouldn't put these filters into the lens unless there was evidence."
And folks like Padron say investing might be worth the cost. Meanwhile, none of the glasses mentioned in the story are sunglasses.
You can't purchase them at a regular store. Patients should consult with an eye doctor who will order the lenses based on your needs. The glasses with the special coating to block blue light average $120.