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Addressing Digital Eyestrain

09 08 WS Addressing Digital Eyestrain - Addressing Digital Eyestrain

Too much computer, phone, or e-reader use may harm your vision. Computer Vision Syndrome (also referred to as digital or electronic eyestrain) results from prolonged use of electronic devices. This concerns the average American worker who according to the American Optometry Association averages seven hours per day using a computer or electronic device. CVS has many painful symptoms. You may experience a single symptom or any combination. Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Migraines
    Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Head, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Vision loss, and more

Poor lighting, screen proximity, and screen glow can further exacerbate these conditions. Persons with poor posture and those with poor baseline vision may be at increased risk for CVS. For most people, CVS symptoms and discomfort cease after time away from a computer or device screen. Yet for some, symptoms continue long after. American Optometry Association (AOA) warns these symptoms, left untreated, may cause further damage.

What to do About Eyestrain

Evidence of CVS is detectable with a comprehensive eye exam. If diagnosed with CVS your eye-care professional will recommend the best treatment plan for you. Treatments vary due to symptom and patient but often, the following recommendations may help alleviate eyestrain:

  • Train your eyes. Vision therapy can help train and improve how your eyes and brain interact, reducing the workload.
  • Position your screen. Keep your computer, tablet, phone and other devices at the right distance and angle from your eyes. The best position for your screen is 15-20 degrees below eye level and 20-28 inches from your eyes.
  • Avoid the glare. Avoid screen glare by closing any blinds or drapes on your windows. Use lower watt bulbs in lamps or overhead lights. Anti-glare screens are available as well.
  • Sit upright. Keep your chair upright and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Look away. Try to budget 15 minutes every two hours for a screen break. This can help your eyes recover. You can also practice the use 20-20-20 method. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Blink! Blinking regularly helps maintain eye moisture, reducing fatigue.

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