Many people are getting glasses earlier in life, not because they’ve lost 20/20 vision, but because their eyes are being worn down by digital screens.

“People are on devices, on tiny devices, on multiple devices, and what we’re finding is their eyes are fatiguing,” said Dr. Dora Adamopoulos, Eye 2 Eye in Alexandria. “They’re having dry eye symptoms from staring at the screens.”

Dr. Adamopoulos said she’s seen a big shift in patients needing glasses in their early 20’s for a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

People with CVS describe a burning sensation in their eyes or a gritty feeling, like there is sand stuck in their eyes. Other symptoms can be bloodshot eyes, squinting when reading off digital screens, and small headaches.

The biggest problem in detecting CVS is the patients don’t think they need to go to the eye doctor for an exam. Usually, they can still read both up close and far away without problems.

“They’re blaming external factors,” Dr. Adamopoulos said. “They’re blaming diet, lifestyle, versus what’s in front of them every day.”

Patients with CVS are given glasses with lenses to help block out some of the glare and blue light coming from computer screens.

“What we’re finding is people with healthy vision need some sort of protective wear or corrective wear when they’re on their devices,” Dr. Adamopoulos said.