11/16/2004

Are Computers Good or Bad?

As people become more dependent on computers there are unforseen hazards. For many people, the longer they sit and stare at the computer the worse their vision gets. According to the article Heavy Computer Use Linked to Eye Disease, staring at the computer all day can cause or increase the likelihood of glaucoma. As computer use increases among people, so to does the need for optometrists that understand glaucoma.

Is it then safe to say that as the demand for computers increases so will the demand for optometrist and eye specialists?

12 comments:

Janet said...

With technology today, people can just have eye surgery to correct their vision. I don't think people will worry too much about how computers can hurt their vision because of the availability of surgery. Society doesn't seem to think of the future as much as the present. What doesn't hurt them today will be fine in the future.

Bruce Banner said...

It is a possiblity. Something else to consider is that people who use computers will also have a higher risk of having carpo-tunnel surgery.

stevepadilla2 said...

The study then conclusion of the correlation of bad eyesight and hours on a computer is likely very insignificant. If the correlation was strong, I don't think there would be much of a decline in computer use. The marginal benefit of computer usage is much greater then the marginal cost with bad eyesight, calculated into marginal cost.

peter_parker said...

I agree with Steve that the benefits of computers outway the costs. That is until I develop glaucoma from my hours in front of the computer doing aplia and blogging. Maybe then I will change my mind. Hahaha.

Jokes aside, this reminds me somewhat of Galbraith's theory of social balance, except for the fact that optometry is not a public good. However, maybe it can be applied the same way. As the spending for computers, a private good, go up, the spending for glasses and surgery related to eye problems will go up. Imbalance occurs when the spending for computers increase at a rate which the spending for glasses and what not cannot keep up. The result is that more of our income goes to our need for computers instead of taking care of our eyes.

This might seem that our priorities are out of whack, but, again, we must consider the marginal benefits and the marginal costs.

Julie said...

I live in front of a computer at work. At my last eye exam my optometrist advised me to look away from the screen every 15 minutes or so for at least a couple minutes. This helps reduce the risk of eye damage. I guess it goes along with the old adage about "an ounce of prevention..." The benefits of computers largely outweigh the costs of using them, especially if you reduce those costs as much as possible.

Bryce Larkin said...

The problem with technology is the added hazards that it causes. Cellular phones heat up the brain and can cause more accidents when using them in a car. Electricity can malfunction and burn down a house or car. There is always a new risk when technology is invented. So, I do agree an increase in computers will mean more doctor visits but the real question is how many doctor visits will it take to make more people stop using computers?

Maudi said...

Computers are a wonderful technological advance in today's world. But as with all things they have there disadvantages, the important thing to do is study up on the side effects and weigh your options. I think that many will have eye problems not because they didn't know, but because they didn't care.

Janet said...

Maybe the next computer invented needs to have a screen that will not hurt the eyes. Or there will be some eye protective gear that you could wear while you stare at the screen. Technology will just keep advancing and soon there will be no worry about glaucoma but something else. Computers will be demanded until something better comes along, not because of our eyes.

Dr. Tufte said...

I love Janet's comment - can we make the devices to protect your eyes really big and dorky looking so that everyone will just know when you've been at the computer again?

I'm a bit dubious about all this. Parents have been warning kids about staring at the TV since the 1950s ... and there haven't been big increases in eye diseases.

C-Dizzle said...

I think Taber Wolrab summed it up quite simply. According to the information given, the demand for optometrists and eye specialists will probably increase considering the increased use of computers these days. For people who use computers a lot, perhaps a screen dimming device would help the eyes and therefore reduce the need for optometrists and specialists.

Anonymous said...

Dear God,

I wish to thank you for giving me this time to think about where we are headed in the world.

Life has become complex.

Why & Who made it so complex ?

Because we wanted it to be complex and we made it complex.

What do we want ?

Happiness.

How will we get happiness ?

If our basic necessities are met

What are your basic necessities , the most basic one ?

A job. I just want to do something useful.

Come on Man, Are you saying you don’t have a job ?

Yes I mean look around.

So now what?

Just wait and watch , what else can you do

Tell me, Don’t you think there is an unjustice going on in the working of mankind ?

How ?

Well you know if we look fifty years back things were different.

How ?

Everything was manual. There was no computer. There was a lot of work, everyone used to get their share of bread and butter.

Are you saying that the invention of computer has a negative impact ?

Frankly, yes. Wise people say an idle mind is devil’s workshop. We need job or work, god damn it give us anything worthwhile to do.

Ok .What do you suggest ?

Well to start with we need to unwind this computer thing and get back to manual, man can’t you see the population is increasing every single day, we need more and more work. Where ever it is possible get back to manual work.

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