In today’s day and age, more people use computers at work and at home. Because of this, one of the top concerns amongst our population today is computer-related eye strain. In fact, studies show that 50 to 90 percent of people who work on computers regularly suffer from eye strain or some other related vision problem. There are numerous symptoms that can occur as a result of working on a computer, from physical fatigue to decreased productivity, eye twitching, redeyes, and work errors from poor vision.
Since it is impossible to get away from using computers and other digital screens in our modern world, it is important patients learn what they can do to reduce eye strain. As more and more people spend their workday looking at computer screens, combating computer eye strain has become a top priority. We’ve talked about computer vision syndrome in the past, and today we are going to expand upon that subject and look at ways to prevent it.
Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Before we go over some tips for reducing eye strain, let’s look at the most common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain:
- Strained feeling
- Dry eyes
- Frequent headaches
- Shoulder and neck pain
According to the American Optometric Association, the average American with a desk job spends at least seven hours a day looking at computer screens. This is a very large percentage and does not come without problems. Furthermore, this statistic does not include the time spent looking at other screens such as smartphones and tablets, streaming media, playing games, surfing the web, or scrolling through social media.
Tips for Reducing Digital Eye Strain
If you are someone who works on a computer for a living or has noticed any of the above symptoms, it is important you start to take care of your vision health. Ignoring these symptoms will only make matters worse, especially as you get older. The following tips should help you reduce these symptoms and move towards living an eye-healthy lifestyle:
- Get a comprehensive eye exam – One of the best things you can do for your vision health is to come into First Eye Care McKinney for a comprehensive eye exam. It is recommended that you get a routine eye exam at least once per year, maybe more if you are someone who works on computers the majority of the time. Your eye doctor will be able to test your eyes and make sure there are no early signs of problems.
- Use ambient lighting – We’ve talked about blue light in the past, and this tip directly relates. Blue light from screens can be damaging, which is why it is important to make sure you have the correct lighting, as poor lighting can lead to eye strain.
- Make sure you have good posture and alignment – Maintaining good posture and ensuring your computer is at the correct high will help reduce eye strain and other common issues. Make sure your computer is at arm’s length and your eyes line directly up with the screen.
- Give your eyes frequent breaks – One of the best things you can do is take frequent breaks throughout the day when working on your computer. Get in the habit of practicing the 20-20-20 rule:
- Take a break every 20 minutes
- Focus on a non-digital object that is at least 20 feet away
- Look at this object for 20 seconds before going back to your screen
Take control of your vision health today by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with First Eye Care McKinney. If you are already showing signs of digital eye strain, we encourage you to come into our clinic today and discuss your symptoms with one of our experienced eye doctors.