Staring at computer, tablet or mobile screens for hours at a time is a normal part of our lives in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, eye problems associated with this activity are also on the rise. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) symptoms after two or more hours of screen time. Signs include:
• Blurry vision
• Eye strain and discomfort
• Dry, scratch eyes
• Neck and/or shoulder pain
Our Optometrists have solutions t help relieve or diminish many of these symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome
The severity and length of computer vision syndrome symptoms depends on how long you stare at the computer, your posture, lighting, glare, the angle of the monitor and whether or not you have other diagnosed or undiagnosed vision problems. If you already suffer from unaddressed astigmatism, farsightedness or presbyopia, your computer vision symptoms may be even more noticeable. Even for people with otherwise normal vision or who wear contacts, a set of specially-designed glasses used during the time you are working on the computer can be very helpful. Additionally, new information is emerging that explains how the excess of blue light from our screens is contributing to these symptoms. Please refer to our Blue Light page for important new information.
Our doctors will take your symptoms, pre-existing conditions and potential undiagnosed conditions into account as they perform the following tests.
• Visual Acuity – Measures the quality of your current vision
• Refraction – Tests the potential lens prescriptions that would optimize your vision
• Focus and Eye Coordination – Tests how well your eyes work together and how quickly and accurately your eyes are able to focus on objects and varying distances
• Observation or Measurement of the distances involved with their tasks
In addition to these treatment options, there are many things we can suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems. Here are some easy steps you can take right now to improve your symptoms:
• Computer Setup – Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated between 20-28 inches away from the screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between the monitor and keyboard or to the side, but positioned for as little head movement as possible. Be sure to sit and work with proper posture.
• Adjust Lighting – If you can, reposition any lighting (or your computer) to minimize glare and use natural lighting whenever possible.
• Eye Rest and Blinking Breaks – Every 20 minutes during your work, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes and give them a 15-minute break after each 2-hour computer session. Also, remember t blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.
With a combination of the proper optometry care and self-care, you can minimize Computer Vision Syndrome and problems associated with blue light. Contact us at 615-331-8688 for an appointment today.