Eye Problems

I’ve developed some sort of eye problem that leads to really painful headaches if I’m at the computer for too long (the headache seems centered around my eyes, if that makes any sense). It used to be that “too long” was about 5 hours, now it is down to half an hour or less. Mike Pinkerton had something like this a while ago, and he turned out OK (depending on your definition of OK ;)), so my hopes are up. I went to the eye doctor today and got some glasses ordered. They said it will take almost 2 weeks to get the frames ordered and get the lenses put in. I’ve never had glasses before, but that seems like a long time to me.

It seems I won’t need glasses normally, only when I’m working. Its not that my vision is bad, its just really painful at times. Odd. Anyway, I will be out of commission for a bit. I’ll try to check my email and do a little hacking here and there when I can, but its not looking good until those glasses get here.

Anyone else had something like this happen? Care to share your experience?

47 thoughts on “Eye Problems

  1. Hi Josh,

    Last year I suffered a hard concussion. Over the past few months my vision has changed.

    I need glasses, but I don’t wanna look like a geek – and I don’t like to stick something in my eyes, so lenses are off at the moment too 🙂

    Well, last month I couldn’t work for two days, because I had white spots everywhere I looked. This was quite annoying and it too gave me painful headaches. They went away in a few minutes, just like when they appeared.

    It’s great to become older, but it has some disadvantages – sadly.

    I hope your eyes turns out ok in a few weeks time – it’s really not fun, when this sort of thing just pops up.

  2. I don’t have glasses, but about 2 years ago small dark spots started appearing in my vision.

    At first there was only one spot, but now i can basically notice 3 (When i move my eyes they move aswell).

    I went to a doctor and he said that nothing could be done about this.. either my brain gets used to those dots and kinda “ignores/removes” them, or they might keep appearing.

    Now that’s depressing….

  3. I think you should first check out the monitor. I had similar problems for about a month and even got myself spectacles. Then a friend sat in front of my terminal and told me that my monitor was bad. I changed it and all the problems disappeared.

  4. —-
    I went to a doctor and he said that nothing could be done about this.. either my brain gets used to those dots and kinda “ignores/removes” them, or they might keep appearing.

    I know you’ve probably already thought of this, but make sure to get the opinions of several doctors. There was a case recently told to me of of a guy having major eye injury and most of the local doctors said they couldn’t do anything with it.

    His parents took him to a special center and they were able to do an experimental surgery that returned his vision 20/20 in that eye. Many years later they may need to take another look at it, but his vision was returned.

    Again, this suggestion was probably obvious but I wanted to give it if it were not.

  5. Your eyes probably have focusing problems, making your eye muscles work too much, causing the pain and headache. Eye gym can help a lot, ask a ophtalmologist.

  6. I get horrendous headaches if I’m using a monitor that runs at anything less than 75Hz refresh rate – I can see it flickering if it’s set to 60Hz. Might be worth checking out the monitor like N says.

  7. As it has been suggested, try switching to a different monitor as well, and of course an LCD will be much easier on your eyes than a CRT. Hope you feel better soon! Cheers!

  8. Hey Josh! First of all, thanks for spending so much time at your computer to bring us awesome products, but might I suggest you take frequent breaks? I found that my eyes really hurt this year when I was at the computer for long times (roughly the same duration as yourself) if I didn’t take frequent breaks and get enough sleep. The body seems to prefer being rather lackadaisical if it can, so it’s good to appease it now and then 🙂

  9. I also get headaches from computer use more often than I used to.

    An ibuprofen-based pain reliever might help for times when you have to keep on working. Ibuprofen is a relaxant, and extra effective when taken with caffeine (really).

    Also, blueberry juice is supposed to fight eye fatigue. It’s expensive but tasty, you might want to find some at the nearest supermarket or organic food store. Avoid stuff with lots of sugar or grape juice added.

  10. 2 weeks time for glasses is quite normal,
    remember that they are always custom made to fit your eyes exactly.

  11. I had the similar problems and that was because of my migraine.

    Migraine can show in a couple of different ways but mostly for me it starts with my sight getting worse, seeing spots and getting very sensitive to light. If that would be the problem for you the only suggest I have is that as soon you notice this go and lie down in bed and just try to relax. As no medication I have tried helped.

    And yep I have glasses to and sit infront of the computer alot =)

  12. deoren, actually I didn’t see any other doctors..
    That one is considered to be pretty good.

    Maybe I should stop hoping for this to get better and just see another doctor.

  13. Hey buddy, I have this problem as well. It really depends on if I’m using my nice apple monitor or a huge bright shiny blinding monitor. I have also started to get migrains, so I really hope that isn’t your problem. Have you had any concussions? I’ve had 4 or 5 so that might be my issue. Anyways, when I wear my glasses it really does help, so I hope that helps for you… also, when I lay off the caffeine it helps. Eye headaches aren’t fun. Call me when you get to Minneapolis!

  14. I had the same thing happen. Along with the headaches were vision problems where flashing lights would appear, and block half my vision. The doctor diagnosed it as “Classic Migranes” with associated images.

    I got glasses and stopped eating so much caffine, and the problem went away after a few weeks. However, I’m not totally convinced that this is what fixed it, given that my vision was 20/25 to start with.

    I hope you get better as the experience was not at all enjoyable. However, it did get me closer to God in the process.

  15. You should have your monitor at 85hz or higher. Otherwise your brain can see the refresh rate. I can see the flicker on monitors with less than 85hz. You will get really bad eye strain from the flicker. Flat panel doesn’t have this problem.


  16. I’ve discovered that my eyes are getting much less tired if the screen is not that bright. Therefore, since years I have adjusted my screen background color to a light gray instead of white.

  17. fwiw, Josh runs a 23″ Apple Cinema display, so this isn’t crappy CRT syndrome.

    I’m going out on a limb here and blaming camino. Its the common symptom. 🙂

  18. Caleb, I second the opinion that you should visit another eye doctor. Everyone makes mistakes, and your eyes are pretty important to you, I’m sure.

  19. A Healthful Diet, Exercise, Water, Fresh-air, Regular Sleeping Patterns. These are your 5 doctors. Your problems may be caused by lifestyle habits that you would never guess are a major contributor, most people don’t guess because their effects are an extremely slow cumulative-damage process. A bad monitor or weakening vision may be only part of the problem. If you could take the long hours in the same environment in the past your body may be degrading because it can no longer take the cumulative strain in addition to that of caffiene and other poor food choices, lack of exercise, irregular sleep, and not enough water and fresh-air. Additionally, don’t fool yourself if you get glasses or a new monitor and the symptoms go away, you may have solved enough of the problem to abate the symptoms but you may still be feeding a large root that may grow back, in the same or even a different form, simply by ignoring your 5 doctors. The nice part is that you can control these things.

  20. Aww.. I was going to suggest upping the refresh rate too.. but I guess if he is on an apple LCD that sorta throws that suggestion out of the window..

    Get a brain implant that lets you be cool while also being a cyborg?


  21. Yeah I have the same condition, so relax – you’re not the only one 😉 If I look at a computer screen (iBook LCD, not refresh rate) or if I read a book… suppose I should see someone too… 🙂

  22. If you are not using an LCD/TFT display already I would heavily recommend you change as it made an incredible difference to me so much so that I never get headaches while using my computer.
    My graphic designer friends nearly bald and thinning hair started to grow back when he changed to a 17″ LCD but I think his CRT monitor may have been defective and leaking radiation.

  23. The only problem I have with my eyes are the floating black dots. Exactly like hansen described. I too was told to “live with it”.

    The optomitrist that I use said it’s fairly common and that it’s crap floating in your eye (dead cells or whatever) and they’re casting shadows on the retna.

    They sure are annoying… today my lunch was visible just out the corner of my eye and I thought there was a fly landing on it, but once again it was the dots just fooling me.

  24. I think its a refresh rate problem. I keep my monitor at 85hz. If you have a laptop or a lcd screen you dont have to worry about this problem.

  25. I have some spots in my eyes too and it’s depressing. Do they ever go away? They have developed in the last few months and I’m afraid they gonna grow forever (they are getting larger, all right). I’m a software developer, can’t cut off time in front of a PC … ðŸ˜Ķ

  26. i see a floating black dot too, i havnt made it to the eye doctors yet, but its really starting to scare me.. i hope i dont have vision problems or an eye disease. anyone have any information about this?

  27. I’ve been struggling with computer related eye pain for more than 10 years now. I’m 29 and this all began when I first started undergrad. My eyes got so bad I couldn’t use computer at all. I typed all my reports on a typewriter and drew out all my lab graphs by hand. It was a pretty terrible experience. I would develop deep raw pain in the eye ball that would radiate out to the rest of my face and just take my life over. What was worse is that it would take at least a week to recover from an episode in which I would run down my eyes pretty far.

    What made the struggle even more difficult is that I went into engineering. It’s been pretty difficult to get away from computers in this field.

    Things have improved. What definately helped was an LCD monitor. I also turn the brightness all the way down and sometimes wear sunglasses too. In addition, a few of the dozens of doctors I’ve seen about this problem diagnosed me with a mild case of convergence excess. They put some prism in my glasses. This helped incredibly. It extended my computer use from 5minutes/day to about 4 hours.

    Now can you believe it, I’m at a job where I’m on the computer nearly 8 hours a day. It’s been way too much for me to handle. I’m trying to figure out how to handle this situation.

    Good luck everybody.

  28. I have sometimes similar problems. It is almost as if I am ‘locked in a focus’ if that makes any sense to you. Some strain between my eyes.
    Few best practices:
    1. Get the bloody glasses, they help 😉
    2. Get enough sleep
    3. Make sure your screen is easy to the eye (high screen refresh rate, at least 70) and that the screen is adjusted at the right height
    4. Make sure to make regular breaks where you can look out of the window or in some other way can focus at a distance

  29. This is my story….. I used CRT monitors alot. Expecially when I was young. Now when I like into a CRT, my eyes water, turn red, I get a headache, and I almost get flu like symptoms. I thought it may be the flicker rate or some other thing. I made a check list of what it could be, then it hit me like a sac of bricks, the reason why I felt so bad was…. RADIATION. The CRT montior is pretty much a radiation gun. Shooting this into your face all day. I read some studies on this, trust me, it’s not good what it does to you. Most companies don’t want you to know because they would have 0 sales and long problem don’t happen right away because it takes time to build up, so in a few years when u get sick u ask, gee, must be genetic???? Nope try again. Here is how I corrected the problem, I purchased LCD, LCD have 0 radiation. You can put your eyes as close as you want, you can stay looking at it for 10 hours, and you won’t feel sick. If you don’t believe me try it.

  30. I am just getting these issues now. A month ago my eyes were fine being on the computer all day and now after 20 minutes of looking at the screens(lcds) i cannot see clear more than 15 feet away.

  31. i have the exact same symptoms.. the corner of my eyes just went complely blury

    it started to happen when i was around 12 and now it happens just once in a while

  32. I have developed an eye problem starting a little over a year ago. I have been playing online games for 3 years now, most of the time over 8 hrs a day.

    I woke up one morning and everything seemed to be flat, or like i was staring into a monitor wherever i went. It really freaked me out because i had never experianced anything like that. Now one year later, and I still have the same problem, but its getting worse.

    Now i can see quite a few “floaters” in my right eye, and some times little black spots will appear. I still have that flat look in my vision, I researched about it and I think it’s depth perception loss. I have tried getting away from the computer for about a week and i saw no change. I’m thinking maybe i need to try it longer.

    I didn’t have this problem back when i use to have a regular monitor, but when i switched to LCD after a while this started to developed.

    Anyone have any suggestions or eye therepy i can do to fix my problems?

  33. Hi, I’m 14 years old. I have the same problem, but I went on some sites, and researched about it, and it said. “Floaters — tiny particles drifting across the eye. Although often brief and harmless”

    I hope these people are right.

  34. hey i need some help here i play Wow been playing for bout a month but been playing pretty much all day long everyday.just last week i have been getting sick fro sitting in front of it i think i cant even sit infront of it now for 30 min without getting dizzy and weirded out feeling.this really suks i have a cheapy 19 inch crt moniter and i researched and it said that shouldnt be a problem with the radiation but i thinking it may be that i left a hershey kiss by the moniter for 15 days and when i open the wrapper and looked at it it looked all radiated out well i think anyways.i sit infront of computer for long periods of time and feel dizzy really bad and get jittery feeling then when i try to lay down and go to sleep my mind and eyes keep racing and im feel all skeeted out and sick i really need somone to say they have had the same symtoms and what they did to correct this cause im pretty scared bout it thx alot for your guys help,john

  35. I have the same problem,i recently bought a 17″ monitor from LG,and i use it at 60hz and i get some mean headaches and eye strains,now iīm looking forward to get a TFT as soon as possible.

  36. same problems black dots swirl around in both eyes, possibly too much much on computer with digital painting and animating means zooming in high concentration.

  37. I get so bad with flickering dots that i cant drive my car and i get pretty depressed about it
    after this i get a pretty bad migraine after it

  38. Josh, for the past couple of years I’ve been experiencing some rather severe floaters in one eye. In the last couple of months, I’ve been getting what I call “eye aches”, which are pains that I feel in the sockets of my eyes. I attribute this to the severe amount of focusing my eyes must do each day while I work at the computer. Let me know if the glasses help.

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