We live in a world that is driven by technology, and that technology improves
our lives in many ways. But spending too much time in front of the screen—whether
that’s a computer screen, tablet, or phone—could be hurting
It’s a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome, and while it
won’t permanently damage your eyes, it can cause serious eyestrain,
which may be exacerbated by existing eye conditions.
Eyestrain occurs when your eyes don’t receive the 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 you’re working on a computer, the top of the
screen should never be higher than eye level.
If you suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome, you may experience some of
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty focusing
- Changes in color perception
- Eye discomfort, burning or itching
These symptoms may vary based on the amount time you spend looking at digital
screens and other vision problems you may have. Astigmatism, nearsightedness,
farsightedness and presbyopia may contribute to development of Computer
Vision Syndrome. While symptoms are often temporary, you may experience
recurring or worsening vision problems if they go untreated.
Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome
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. Your screen should
also be tilted so that the top is slightly farther away than the bottom.
Adjust brightness/contrast. The brightness/contrast settings on your screen should be such that you
do not have to strain to see clearly.
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.
Treatment for Computer Vision Problems may also include special prescription
lenses designated for computer use or vision therapy, also known as vision
training, to treat problems with focus or eye coordination.
If you develop any problems with your eyes, such as red eyes, blurry vision,
sensitivity to light, eye swelling or discharge, contact Key-Whitman to
schedule an eye exam.