In today’s day and age, we have a digital screen right in our pocket day in and day out. With the increase in technology use, millions of jobs worldwide require an employee to utilize a digital screen at some point throughout the workday, increasing the chance of developing computer vision syndrome. So what is computer vision syndrome, what are the risk factors associated, and how can you treat it?
What is computer vision syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome is classified as digital eye strain and vision disorders associated with exposure to a digital screen such as a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Computer vision syndrome is accompanied by several symptoms including:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Dry eyes
Several things can be done to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome. Continue reading to learn common causes of this disorder and ways to combat it.
What causes computer vision syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome, also referred to as digital eye strain, is a disorder accompanied by prolonged use of a digital screen. Unlike words printed directly on a sheet of paper, words on a digital screen are not as sharp, making it more difficult to focus. Digital screens are also at an increased risk of producing a glare, leading to difficulty in focusing.
Prolonged exposure to a digital screen, typically 2 hours or more consecutively, increases the chance of developing computer vision syndrome. In addition to the prolonged use of a digital screen, there are other risk factors associated with computer vision syndrome including:
- Poor lighting
- Glare or reflection on your computer or digital screen
- Vision issues that go untreated
- Using improper prescription glasses
- Viewing a digital screen from the wrong distance
- Poor posture while using a computer
A digital screen, like a computer, laptop, or smartphone makes the eyes work harder to focus on the words that are on the screen, causing a strain on the eyes. You must take the proper measures to combat computer vision syndrome as your eyesight is one of the most important parts about you to protect.
How is computer syndrome vision treated?
Several things can be done to combat the risk of developing computer syndrome vision including the following:
- Adjust the computer screen. Many people are sitting entirely too close to a digital screen. Experts recommend sitting approximately 20 to 28 inches from your computer screen as sitting too close adds to the risk of eye strain. It is also recommended to place the screen just below eye level where you are not having to tilt your neck up or down to adequately view the screen. If you are still struggling with eye strain after following the above-mentioned recommendations, increasing the digital screen’s brightness, contrast, and font size can help.
- Remember to blink. Studies show people blink 66% less when using a digital screen increasing the risk of eyes drying out, becoming irritated, and adding to the eye strain.
- Reduce the chance of digital screen glare. Glare on the screen can be caused by several things. However, it can be reduced by closing the blinds or curtains, utilizing a lower wattage light bulb, or adding a screen glare filter.
- Use appropriate eyeglasses. Many people ignore going to the eye doctor for a regular checkup because they feel their vision could not have changed too much in a short period, only to realize it has been years since having an eye exam. It is important to have a regular eye exam and keep up with a current vision prescription and eyeglasses prescription.
- Use eye drops. Eye drops are used to keep eyes lubricated and moisturized and can be purchased over-the-counter at a drugstore or pharmacy. If over-the-counter eye drops do not seem to do the trick, your primary care physician can provide you with prescription eye drops to help.
- Take a break. Does your job require long hours to be spent using a digital screen such as a desktop computer or a laptop? It is important that you take frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest. Experts recommend that you rest your eyes for approximately 15 minutes after 2 hours of continual digital screen usage.
Schedule Your Eye Appointment Today
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of computer vision syndrome is to visit our office. Our eye doctor can check for vision problems contributing to computer vision syndrome, and discuss vision solutions for you, including computer eyewear.
Schedule an appointment with our office to discuss if computer work is impacting your eyes and vision, and the best ways to reduce your eye strain and fatigue.