Many people who use computers or digital screens for an extended period of time experience a range of eye problems, from dry and itchy eyes to blurred vision and headaches. This discomfort is commonly referred to as “computer vision syndrome”. The severity of these symptoms typically depends on the amount of time working with digital screens. Computer vision syndrome can be reduced by using some simple steps when you’re using your devices.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
When using a computer or other digital screen for a long period of time, our blink-rate drastically reduces. In fact, we typically only blink about one-third as often when working on the computer. This causes the eyes to become dry and irritated. To combat this symptom of computer vision syndrome, simply remind yourself to blink more often. Take breaks from staring at the screen to ensure you are blinking a normal amount and providing your eyes with a healthy amount of tears. If your eyes continue to feel dry and irritated, ask your eye doctor about using lubricating drops to reduce symptoms.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Besides dry, irritated eyes, many people experience eyestrain after prolonged computer use. Working on the computer requires a lot of effort from your eyes’ focusing system, causing them to feel fatigued and strained. There are several steps you can take to reduce this strain. First, try adjusting the distance or angle of your screen. Secondly, follow the 20-20-20 rule: look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Both of these steps can help reduce the demand on the eyes’ focusing system and lessen eye fatigue.
The Doc Knows Best
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to address your computer vision syndrome symptoms is to visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor can prescribe a pair of glasses specifically for computer use. If you are not interested in designated computer glasses, your eye doctor can make the best suggestions for appropriate working distances for your screens based on your prescription, and they will have the most informed recommendations for which lubricating drops or artificial tears are best for your eyes.