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In the News: Ways to Prevent Computer Eyestrain

It’s a sign of the times that more people are using computers, ipads, and other electronic devices for large amounts of their day. And while these devices have made our lives easier and more convenient in many ways, they have also done a number on our eyes.

 

There is even now a diagnosed disorder for the chronic eyestrain caused by looking at a screen too much – Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. 

Symptoms of CVS include dry and burning eyes, aching back, neck, shoulders or head, and blurry vision. 

Here are some ways that you can avoid eye strain and prevent CVS from getting to you. 

  • “Take a break.” Every 15 minutes take an eye break from your screen. Look from side to side, then gaze into the distance. Roll your shoulders while you are taking your eye break to stretch out your neck, too.
  • “Look down, not up.” Tilt your screen (if you can) downwards so that it is 4-8 inches below your eye level.
  • “Stand up.” Take a 10-minute bathroom break – even if you don’t have to go – at least every 2 hours. Walk around, back and forth, letting your eyes idle. Avoid looking your phone during this idle break and let your eyes wander. Do anything except something that requires intense eye focusing. 
  • “Use Eye Drops.” People tend to blink less when they are staring at a screen which results in dry eyes. Keep eye drops nearby and squeeze in some artificial tears when necessary. 
  • “Check your glasses.” People wear glasses for reading and for seeing things far away, but most glasses are not intended for reading type on a computer screen that is 20 inches away from you. Consult an optometrist about getting a pair of computer glasses.