Protect Eyes from the Damage of Different Technology

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 15-Oct-2013

techsmallIn a technology-driven world, it isn’t uncommon for people to spend several hours a day looking a screen – whether it’s a TV, computer, tablet or smartphone. Is it possible that all of the time spent looking at technology is hurting your eyes?

The good news is that frequently looking at a computer screen, TV or a mobile device won’t cause permanent damage to your eyes, but it can cause eyestrain or even a condition called computer vision syndrome. This may exacerbate symptoms of other eye conditions. If you experience difficulty seeing, you should have your eyes checked to rule out any more serious eye conditions.

If you spend a good amount of time each day watching TV, working on your computer, or even playing games or texting on your smartphone, you may begin to experience some of these symptoms:

  • dry eyes
  • blurry vision
  • difficulty focusing
  • changes in color perception
  • eye discomfort, burning or itching
  • headaches
  • neck and shoulder pain

Eyestrain results from not allowing your eyes proper time to rest. It is often the result of one of two causes: glare and/or position of the screen. The glare from any technological screen (TV, computer, tablet, phone) is hard on your eyes and can lead to eye muscle fatigue, or difficulty seeing what’s on the screen. The position of the screen is also important to prevent your eyes from having to work too hard to view the screen. When working on a computer, the top of the screen should never be higher than eye level.

If you spend more than a few minutes each day looking at a computer screen, the TV or a mobile device, here are a few things you can do to help prevent eyestrain or computer vision syndrome.

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a computer screen, shift your gaze away from the screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Properly position the screen. Keep your computer screen at least 25 inches from your face, and position it so you are looking slightly downward at the screen.
  • Blink frequently. Blinking helps keep your eyes moist, which can prevent dry eyes. Artificial tears can also be used to refresh your eyes when they are dry or irritated.
  • Eliminate glare. Use a screen filter to reduce glare on the screen.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can worsen computer-related eyestrain. If you spend all day working or studying on the computer, take regular breaks or power naps to rest your eyes.
  • Listen to your eyes. Pay attention to how your eyes feel. If your eyes are tired or sore, it is time to take a break. A warm, damp washcloth applied to closed eyes can help alleviate eye soreness.
  • Wear your glasses. If you wear contact lenses, try to wear your eyeglasses instead of contacts when working on the computer for long periods of time.

It is not uncommon to spend a good amount of time each day looking at the screen. In many cases, a person’s livelihood depends on it. While computer use should not permanently damage your eyes, it can cause significant eyestrain, dry eyes and even eye pain. If you develop any problems such as red eyes, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, eye swelling or discharge, contact Key-Whitman to schedule an eye exam.

Categories: Eye Health
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