In the 21st century it is common knowledge that sitting in front of computer screens all day puts a strain on your eyes. As computers are a necessity to most work places, it is no surprise that problems associated with sitting in front of a computer day-in and day-out are on the rise. Eyestrain is made worse because aside from the workplace, many of us go home to use our laptops, televisions, smartphones and tablets. You may be surprised to learn that even if you have no current issues with your eyes, continuous exposure to a bright computer screen can actually cause computer vision syndrome. It is estimated that a staggering 70% of habitual computer users suffer some form of computer vision syndrome. That’s right, an actual syndrome can develop due to long exposure to computer screens. It’s important to know the symptoms of computer vision syndrome and how to reduce the potential for eye strain and treat existing distress.
What are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome? They include (but are not limited to):
Dry, scratchy eyes
Neck and/or shoulder pain
General irritation of eyes
If not addressed, symptoms can worsen over time.
So, what’s to be done? Here are 5 tips that improve the comfort of your work day and will ensure you reduce your chances of developing computer vision syndrome. Check them out:
1.Adjust the angle of your monitor
Doctors suggest keeping your monitor or tablet 20-28 inches away from your eyes and 4-5 inches below eye level. Additionally, if you’re looking back and forth from a screen to reference materials (ie. books, paper documents, etc), keep them where you can see them in order to decrease head movement. What’s more? It is even suggested that you upgrade your monitor. Low resolution and low pixel monitors can put an extra strain on eyes. Do your eyes a favor and invest in a new, LED monitor!
Too little of a contrast between letters on the screen and background cause your eyes to work harder than necessary, which can actually create a sensitivity to light. Squinting is your eyes’ natural reaction to glare. This in effect can cause headaches and tired eyes. To avoid this, position your screen away from windows or close the blinds. If this is not an option for whatever reason, you can always purchase a glare filter for your computer screen.
It’s estimated that people blink 18 times per minute with computer users blinking only 1/4th that amount. Due to this decrease in blinking, dry, red eyes can develop. To combat this, remind yourself to blink while using the computer or keep lubricating eye drop nearby.
4.Rest Your Eyes
To prevent eyestrain, make sure to take breaks when sitting in front of your computer screen or tablet for long periods of time. To refocus your eyes, look away from the computer screen and try to focus on a distant object. Think 20-20-20: every 20 minutes for 20 seconds look at something 20 feet away!
5.Get Your Eyes Checked
Uncorrected vision problems associated with aging, astigmatism and problems coordinating your eyes can all contribute to eyestrain and increase the severity of the syndrome. Although you may not need glasses for everyday life, you may need them for computer related activities to prevent eye strain and damage. Visit Odessa Vision to have an eye exam to correct these vision issues.
Do you have these symptoms? Take the proper precautions to prevent computer vision syndrome from impacting your life and visit Odessa Vision!
How can we help?
Dr. Hembree and Dr. Jackman will perform 3 eye tests to assess your condition and then develop a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. These tests consist of a visual acuity test to determine the quality of your current vision, refraction tests to determine the potential lens prescription that would optimize your vision and lastly, a test of focus and eye coordination to determine how your eyes work together and how quickly and accurately yours eyes are able to focus on objects and varying distances.