All Those Hours Editing on Your Computer Aren’t Actually Ruining Your Eyesight

If you’re worried that spending hours upon hours staring at a computer post-processing thousands of photos will damage your eyeballs, rest assured: it won’t. And the video above by the folks at DNews explains why that is.

Admittedly, the video focuses more on the myth that sitting too close to the Television screen will ruin your eyesight, but the same conclusions can be applied to computer screens… something we as photographers spend a lot of time in front of. It’s also doubly important to us because our vision means a great deal professionally.


The only thing that many hours in front of the computer screen WILL do is lead to what’s called eye strain. But while this can be painful and cause problems, even prolonged eye strain won’t cause permanent damage to your eyes. Just try to look at something far away every 20 minutes or so when you’re on an editing binge and it’ll help keep your eyes from getting tired.

To hear the full story on this old myth, with scientific references and interesting background information thrown in there for you trivia types, check out the video at the top… and then look away for a few minutes.

(via Lightroom)

  • David Liang

    Yeah I agree correlation is not causation but he didn’t exactly explain why one does develop a need for glasses. Simply saying “Why did my brother need glasses? Because he need glasses” is a ridiculous answer to a serious question.

  • Erin Cadigan Photography

    This puts me at ease a bit! Although my eye doctor has indicated this before. He actually prescribed low level prescription glasses to wear over my contacts when I use the computer!

  • etothej

    I normally wear glasses because I can’t focus at infinity. While this brings its disadvantages, it has one great advantage: if I take off my glasses, my “infinity” (i.e. the point where my eyes focus if I do not strain my eye muscle) is around 50 cm – exactly the distance between me and my laptop screen :)

  • Poki

    It’s a good answers – many people need glasses from birth on, but this need just gets discovered way later. There probably was no additional damage dealt to his brothers eyesight after his birth either.

  • Glen Berry

    No, it won’t harm your eyesight, but it might cause you to die sooner!

    You conveniently left out that part of the video. Personally, I’d be a bit more concerned about early death than merely needing glasses. :)

  • ThomasBisset

    Although a flippant remark, it’s fair enough – especially as the host goes on to explain it. His brother sat closer to the TV because he was short-sighted; he wasn’t short-sighted because of the TV.

    There’s so many causes of short-sightedness, some apparent from birth and some later developed. It’s not really all that possible to find out exactly what happened.

  • Mik Rose

    How will you die sooner? Is the electromagnetic radiation the correlation of earlier death? There are millions of factors why someone would die “sooner” and the fact that our society has a longer avg lifespan, computers have minuscule contribution to your health.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Er, he’s holding that controller wrong!

  • Blachford

    i’m more worried about clarity ruining your pictures.

  • Joel

    I agree with Mik. I think studies where people die sooner because they watch too much tv or spend too much time in front of a computer screen must correlate with little exercise and activity, as well as maybe not eating healthy. Edit all day, but get outside and exercise once n a while!

  • Larissa

    Because you’re sitting down for long periods of time. In the video, and in countless scientific articles, they all say that sitting down for long periods of times is bad for you. And that at the office for example you should try to walk as much as you can (to the bathroom, to the copy machine, …). in this video he says for every hour you spend watching tv you lose 22minutes. Now I’m sure these numbers can’t apply to EVERYONE, but if you bear in mind “I must sit less”, and actively try to, you’re good. Standing desks are a good place to start, and you can have an elevated chair for those times when your legs need a break.

  • Dima

    I actually disagree with their results. I got eyesight 20/20 before starting my regular work. It’s been over 10 years though that I spend working in front of the screen usually between 12 and 14 hours a day, often: more than that – first CRT screens, then LCD TFT, now LCD IPS, and now I wear -1.5/-2 glasses. Yea, it’s not a huge problem, but never the less I found it every doubtful my eyes suddenly “gave up” just because – especially in my age.

  • Peter “Pots”

    Many eye problems are really genetic. I needed glasses as an adult and got to have a -3 diopter correction. I decided one day to start leaving my glasses off because when I drove at night headlight glare from oncoming cars bothered my eyes. After about 6 months of this my eyesight returned to normal…please don’t ask me why as I don’t know. I still am eyeglass free as a senior citizen/photographer…

  • Tommy Sar

    No, he’s not. It’s an N64 controller.

  • ninpou_kobanashi


  • Glen Berry

    Actually, no. Sitting down for extended periods of time on a regular basis has been linked to a shorter lifespan, even if you’re highly active in general. It has nothing to do with the fact you’re editing photos, or looking at a monitor, it has everything to do with sitting for extended periods. Not matter what your diet is, or how much you exercise when you’re not sitting, if you sit for extended periods of time, it’s supposed to be bad for you. There have been several studies about this.

  • Sigi

    In my case its just genetics.

    Prove: i have similiar values as my mother.