What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer Vision Syndrome, also referred to as Digital Eye Strain, is a term used to define eye and vision-related conditions that stem from the hours you log in front of a screen–computer, tablet, or cell phone. Research has proven that there is a correlation between certain eye discomfort and vision problems and the frequency, length of time and ways you interact with digital screens. The level of discomfort appears to correspond with the amount of digital screen used. Consider the following statistics, on average, the American worker logs seven hours a day on the computer at home or in the office. in the office or working from home. Because of the number of people who suffer from computer vision syndrome, the American Optometric Association has developed tip for helping to alleviate digital eye strain. One of these tips includes the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. The other tips will be featured farther down in the Prevention and Treatment section of this page.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain are:
- blurred vision
- dry eyes
- neck and shoulder pain
The good news is, these symptoms can be alleviated by taking proactive steps to alleviate work-related eye strain. Read on!
Treatment and Prevention
Establishing a treatment and prevention plan for computer vision syndrome should involve the following key elements to ensure success. An Optical Master’s eye doctor can help you create a working prevention and treatment plan that encompasses these recommendations below. Taking the time to follow these suggestions from the American Optometric Association can help save you from the problems associated with eye strain and overuse of your eyes.
- Regular Eye Exams. If you log significant hours behind a computer screen each day, you may be in need of more frequent eye exams to prevent problems from occurring. Consult with your eye doctor on proper frequency for your individual needs.
- Eye Exercises. Eye exercises can help strengthen their ability to support the work they are required to perform every day.
- Proper Lighting. Position the computer screen to avoid glare, particularly from overhead lighting or windows. Use blinds or drapes on windows and replace the light bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage.
- Fonts Scaling. When reading or working on the computer for extended periods, change the text size and contrast to help ease strain. Black print on a white background is better for your eyes and make sure the font is big enough that you don’t have to work hard to read.
- Frequent Blinking. To minimize your chances of developing dry eye when using a computer, make an effort to blink frequently. Blinking keeps the front surface of your eye moist.
- Wearing Glasses. Even if you don’t use eyeglasses for other daily activities, you may benefit from glasses prescribed specifically for computer use. If you already wear glasses, talk to an eye doctor at Optical Masters to ensure that your current prescription is optimal for viewing a computer.
- 20-20-20 Rule. To prevent eyestrain, try to rest your eyes when using the computer for long periods. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. Also, follow the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.
The good thing about computer vision syndrome is that most of the symptoms are temporary, especially after you make changes to how you interact with your devices. Some individuals may continue to experience compromised visual abilities such as blurred distance vision, even after they have ceased their computer work. Addressing the issues with regular eye care and making the necessary changes will help you improve your symptoms.
Call for a Consultation
In a recent article published in the New York Times, they stated that worldwide, up to 70 million workers are at risk for computer vision syndrome, and those numbers are only likely to grow. The article also stated that 70 percent to 90 percent of people who use computers extensively, whether for work or play, have one or more symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Located at two convenient Denver locations–King Soopers Shopping Center off of South Monaco Parkway in Denver and at the Brentwood Shopping Center on Federal Boulevard–Optical Masters can offer you top-rate eye care services and help you with your eye health goals.