Scott R. writes: "From SciAm.com — Ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eye professionals note a seeming link between myopia, also called nearsightedness, and "near work" — visual activities that take place at a distance of about 40 centimeters (16 inches) from the eye — such as reading a book. Staring at a computer screen qualifies as well, though monitors usually are around 50 centimeters (20 inches) away. But only a small — and mysterious — subset of people see myopic progression from near work, whether they are focusing on a computer or accounting books. The fact that near work doesn't lead to myopia in all of us, however, doesn't mean sitting close to a computer screen causes no problems. Though for most it is not permanently damaging, computer near work leads to an uncomfortable, at times debilitating, list of symptoms collectively known as eyestrain."