5 Helpful Tips in Avoiding Computer Eye Strain Problems
The average American spends at around 10 hours each day looking at a screen. Whether you’re watching TV, playing video games on a computer, or using your mobile device to check your social media account, this requires you to look at a screen for prolonged periods of time – often hours at a time.
These activities lead to a common eye problem: eye strain or also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). While common – 64 to 90% of office workers suffer from it – CVS, thankfully, does not cause permanent eye damage. However, it does contribute to a decrease in productivity.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
A typical symptom of CVS includes the eyes feeling irritated and having a burning or stinging sensation. Light sensitivity, headaches, and difficulty in focusing are also common symptoms. A person may experience problems like blurred vision and either dry or watery eyes. Back and neck pain may also be experienced.
Managing the CVS Problem
Here are 5 tips to ease CVS and therefore make your device usage more enjoyable and productive.
- Get your eyes checked – We noted previously that CVS does not cause permanent eye damage. However, undiagnosed or untreated eye problems can contribute to CVS. Even if you’re wearing glasses or contacts, incorrect prescription can actually increase the risk of eye strain. Your eye doctor can prescribe the correct glasses or contacts. Your eye doctor can also recommend custom computer glasses. These glasses are optimized for use with computers, reduce glare, and give a wider field of vision – lowering the effort required when focusing at a screen.
- Proper lighting and screen brightness – Dim lighting contrasting with the light coming from your screen can stress your eyes. Ensure that your workspace is well lit. Glare, either from your screen or other reflective surfaces, should be minimized. You can adjust your screen settings to comfortable levels.
- Give your eyes a break – Follow the 20-20 rule, every 20 minutes take a 20 second break to look away from your screen. Look at something in the distance to have your eyes relax their focus. Have a small break after every 2 hours of continuous computer use – stand up, or do some light stretches.
- Screen positioning – The distance and angle at which you’re viewing the screen can help prevent eye strain. The best viewing distance is 20 to 28 inches from the screen. It is also recommended that the screen should be below eye level at a 15-20 degree angle (or 4 to 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen.
- Don’t forget to blink – You will typically blink around 15 to 18 times every minute. However, when using a computer you don’t blink as much. This can lead to dry eye. Try to blink as much as you can to keep your eyes moist. You can also refresh your eyes by using eye drops.
Get an Eye Checkup
If you are feeling eye strain or Computer Vision Syndrome, make an appointment with us at Vision Source. We prescribe proper eye wear and treat other underlying eye problems affecting your CVS. We have been taking care of residents of Lake Worth for many years now, and we have the experience to help you prevent and treat eye strain.