Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome
If you spend the majority of your day staring at a computer screen, you’ve likely experienced a form of of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). The computer-related syndrome is caused with strenuous viewing of digital screens.
Today the list of digital screens has expanded to more than a computer monitor. Think smartphones, televisions, tablets, smartwatches, digital billboards, interactive menus at restaurants, alarm clocks, and even home refrigerators and thermostats.
It may be impossible to avoid computer screens all together but there are ways to prevent issues related to CVS. The first step in prevention is knowing what symptoms are related to the syndrome.
What are a few common symptoms?
Headaches. Daily headaches or extreme migraines are often caused by staring at computers for hours at a time.
Eye strain. When images on the screen appear hazy or fuzzy, we tend to squint in an effort to correct the image. This type of behavior is damaging to our eyes.
Blurred Vision. If squinting doesn’t fix the image but we ignore seeing an eye doctor to prescribe glasses or contact lenses, we are damaging our vision.
Dry Eyes. Not being able to produce a healthy amount of tears is detrimental as eyes need moisture to remain focused on images.
Pain the the neck and shoulders. Practicing good ergonomics in the office or your workspace can prevent pain in the eyes as you stare at your computer monitor or laptop.
Changing a few of your daily habits may positively affect your eyes. If you’re doing any of the following, you should consider making changes immediately:
Practicing poor posture when sitting at a desk. Eyes should be leveled with your computer monitor, shoulders down with elbows close to your body, your back should feel supported by a chair, and feet should be flat on the floor.
Dealing with vision problems. Without proper support, your eyes will feel increased pressure as they struggle to focus on images on the screen. If you require prescription glasses, your eyes should feel at ease without excessive tears or lack of moisture.
Wearing expired contact lenses. This is just about the worst thing you can do for your eyes. Expired contacts carry bacteria that can lead to serious infections when we extend the expiration date.
Staring at the glare of digital screen for a long period of time. If your computer is situated near a window or if you are working on your laptop or tablet outside, you’ve likely struggled with a pesky glare from the sun. To fix this issue, you should consider a monitor filter or rearranging your desk.
Follow the 20/20/20 rule. It’s simple – every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away.
Get tested. If you do not presently wear prescribed glasses or contact lenses, but are experiencing symptoms of CVS, it might be time for an eye exam. If you wear corrective lens, your prescription should be updated annually.
Fix the lighting. Too much or too little light causes the eyes to go into double time. If you find yourself squinting, this is a good indicator that the lighting needs adjustment.
Take screen breaks when possible. This task may seem impossible given that the majority of daily activities involves staring at a screen. Whether it’s our office computers, home televisions, or smartphones, avoiding screens is no easy task. However, if you have the opportunity to step away from the screen – do so. Try avoiding screens when they are unnecessary such as family dinners or live sporting events.
Do what’s best for your eyes.
Ignoring signs of computer vision syndrome is the worst thing we can do for the health of our eyes. At Hayder Eye Care in El Paso we stress the importance of annual eye exams to provide you with the best practices and solutions when it comes to eye care. Call us today to schedule your routine eye exam: 915-592-4600.