Eye strain is far more prevalent today than it ever has been in the past. We don’t have to look very far to realize that our heavy reliance on digital devices may have a little something to do with this. Many people are aware that they can strain their eyes by sitting in front of a computer screen for too many hours a day. Even gaming and getting engrossed in a good book can strain the eyes by limiting how frequently one blinks. As much as we use our cell phones for everyday tasks today, we also need to be aware of the effects these devices can have on our eyes.
According to statistics, approximately 90 percent of people who use digital devices and computers experience what is called computer vision syndrome, or CVS. This common condition causes symptoms including stinging or burning eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, headaches, and neck and upper back pain. If you use a digital device of any kind, you may encounter these symptoms. A few strategies may help.
- Change your view. One of the problems with today’s technology is that it forces the eyes to work in a way they were not designed to do. Vision is formed by the eyes working together. This occurs most efficiently when the eyes observe objects a little ways away from the face. Looking at a digital screen brings the field of vision into too close range for optimal function. To avoid computer vision syndrome, breaks should be taken every few minutes to look away from a device into the distance.
- Adjust your angle. In addition to looking away from the computer or digital screen, you can reduce strain by positioning any screen 20 to 28 inches away from the face and up to 5 inches below eye level.
- Manage glare. When there is less contrast between a screen and what you are trying to observe on that screen, the eyes must work harder to see sufficiently. This can result in light sensitivity. To avoid glare, it is helpful to place a screen away from windows and high light. Many people today also add a glare-reducing filter over their screen to minimize eye strain.
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Vision problems such as astigmatism or farsightedness can exacerbate the effects of viewing digital devices. In turn, this can contribute to computer vision syndrome and the symptoms of digital eye strain. Even if you do not need glasses for other tasks, it is possible that you may need them for computer use. If you wear glasses or contact lenses currently and still find that you tilt your head or squint your eyes to see screens, you may benefit from a prescription update.
We’re happy to help you enjoy your best vision. To schedule your visit at Central Florida Eye Institute, call (352) 237-8400.