Eye Strain from Computer Use

These days, the computer plays a central role in the work and academic lives of most Americans. Still, staring at a bright computer screen for hours can have very devastating effects on your vision and eye health. According to Web MD, at least 50 percent of computer users experience some type of eye problem. As a result, it is important to take steps to avoid eye strain from computer use.

Computer Vision Syndrome
Using the computer involves repetitive motion for your eyes. Just like repeating the same motions over and over is not good for your hands and wrists since it can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, constantly adjusting and focusing your eyes on a bright screen over and over again can lead to a condition called “computer vision syndrome,” or CVS. The signs of CVS include blurred vision, double vision, dry eyes, reddened eyes, irritated eyes, head or neck tension, or headaches. For some individuals, these symptoms are mild and they come and go. These people are more likely to experience problems when they are sitting at the computer.

Preventing Problems
Fortunately, computer vision syndrome is largely preventable. Taking a few simple steps to rest your eyes and avoid problems can help save your eyes from becoming overly strained.

The first way to prevent CVS is to dim your computer screen. The brightness of the standard setting for computer monitors often triggers eye strain. Even lowering the brightness a few levels can have a big impact on your eye health. If adjusting the brightness still is not sufficient, try increasing the font size as well.

Reducing the amount of glare can also help your eyes. If the light from the window or a lamp is bothering your eyes when it reflects off the computer screen, adjust the angle or position of your monitor or take steps to reduce the glare such as by shutting the blinds or moving the lamp.

Changing the configuration of your work space can also help reduce the possibility that you will develop CVS. Ideally, the computer monitor should be 20 to 28 inches away and slightly below eye level for optimum eye and neck comfort.

Finally, follow to 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus for 20 seconds on an object that is about 20 feet away. This small step gives your eyes a much-needed rest.

When to Consult an Optometrist
If you start experiencing severe symptoms of CVS or if they last for more than a few minutes after you are done working on the computer, you should make an appointment with your optometrist. Your eye doctor can rule out the possibility of additional eye problems as well as work with you to reduce your eye strain.

Dr. Rabbani, optometrist in Los Angeles, can provide you with more information about eye care. Click here to learn more.

April 26, 2013 | Author: | Posted in Health and Fitness


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