Computers play a major role in many people’s daily workday. Remaining focused on computer screens for eight or more hours a day causes a condition that is now known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Since there are many problems associated with eye strain and computer screens, CVS is a generic term that encompasses all of them.
Roughly 50 to 90 percent of people who work on computers suffer from some form of eye problems. When you combine the blue light, flickering and glare from a computer screen with the constant need to focus, your eye muscles face considerable exertion. This can lead to CVS symptoms such as:
- – Blurred vision
- – Seeing double images
- – Red, dry or irritated eyes
- – Headaches
Although CVS has not been tied directly to permanent conditions, the symptoms can affect your performance and should be alleviated as much as possible. The following tips can help if you spend many hours a day working with computer screens:
- – Be sure to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam including optomap®. Your eye care professional can monitor vision changes if any and diagnose troubling conditions before they do become permanent. If necessary, corrective lenses may be prescribed which can help reduce the stress on your eye muscles.
- – Follow the 20-20-20 rule for your eyes: At 20-minute intervals, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The distance helps to relax the muscle that is responsible for focusing.
- – Adjust your workstation to minimize strain on your eyes. Use document holders so you are not having to look up and down so often. Position your chair and monitor so the distance of the screen to your eyes is 20 to 24 inches.
- – Make a habit of blinking regularly. When immersed in our work, we tend to forget to blink which robs our eyes of moisture and can lead to dryness and irritation.
- – Take frequent breaks. Rather than two 15-minute breaks, consider taking shorter breaks more often. If that is not an option, break up your computer time with other tasks to rest your eyes and move some.
Optos would like to stress the importance of a comprehensive eye exam including optomap® when dealing with eye strain and computer screens. Only your eye care professional can determine whether the symptoms are due to eye strain or an eye problem that can potentially lead to vision loss.