Many people spend up to nine hours a day on their computer. Too much screen time can cause an eye problem called computer vision syndrome (CVS), also knowns as digital eye strain. According to research, between 50% and 90% of people who regularly work on computers experience CVS symptoms.
In this post, your local eye care provider, Park Slope Eye, shares tips on how you can get relief from digital eye strain.
What Is Digital Eye Strain?
Like carpal tunnel syndrome, digital eye strain is caused by repetitive movements–in this case, your eyes following the same path repetitively. The condition can worsen as your screen time increases. Common symptoms include eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.
Your eyes focus and refocus all the time when you’re looking at a monitor and move back and forth while you read. You may also need to look down at papers and then back at the screen. These motions plus the contrast, flicker and glare from screens can tire your eye muscles.
You have a higher risk of experiencing digital eye strain if you already have an existing eye problem, don’t wear your prescription eyeglasses or if you’re using the wrong type of lenses for computer use. Visit an eye specialist for a routine eye exam to make sure your prescription is up to date.
Minimize Digital Eye Strain
Regular breaks are important when it comes to minimizing symptoms of digital eye strain. Practice the 20-20-20 rule: after every 20 minutes spent on your computer, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you’re experiencing dry eyes, you can use artificial tear drops.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the brightness and contrast levels of your monitor; if not, tweak the settings. If you can replace your laptop with a tablet for an e-reader, then do so. Research has proven that e-ink screens are more eye-friendly than back-lit screens.
Additionally, don’t sit too close to your computer. You should be at least an arm-length away from the screen. If reading from that distance is difficult, try increasing the font size of the computer.
Consult with your eye doctor if you’re experiencing any eye discomfort for proper diagnosis and treatment. Visit your local eye care clinic, Park Slope Eye, for your vision needs. Schedule an appointment online to learn more about our services. We assist patients in Brooklyn, NY, and nearby areas.