What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
If you're like most people today, there's a good chance you spend hours every day looking at a computer or other screen. Depending on which study you read, the average American spends anywhere between four hours to upwards of 11 hours a day looking at a screen. That's a lot! And you don't even have to be in the optometry field to agree that it's taking a toll on our eyes.
You may have already felt what is commonly known as "computer vision syndrome", "screen eye strain" or "digital eye strain". And even if you haven't experienced any symptoms, that doesn't mean your eyes haven't already begun to experience some of the effects of staring at screens for long periods of time. But the Eye Doctors of Arizona are here to help! Keep reading to learn more about how to recognize the symptoms of computer vision syndrome and what you can do about it.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Whether the screen you spending most of your time with is on your desk or in your hand, the symptoms of eye strain are very much the same. Even if you've been practicing good eye care your entire life, your screen use may still be affecting your eyes. In fact, there's a good chance you have at least some level of computer vision syndrome if you've experienced any of the following symptoms:
- Eye dryness
- Eye pain, itching or fatigue
- Blurry eyesight
- Eye redness or tearing up
- Neck, shoulder and / or upper back pain
How to Prevent and Ease Computer Vision Syndrome
The only way to completely prevent this form of eye strain is to stop using screens entirely. But let's face it-- this is a lot easier said than done. For many of us, we wouldn't be able to work or communicate today without our computer, tablets or smartphones! The good news is that there are quite a few things you can do to both help prevent and ease the effects of digital eye strain:
- Give yourself regular breaks from looking at screens (even if it just means looking up regularly and focusing on other objects
- Blink regularly
- Make sure the screen is a comfortable distance away from your eyes (no closer than 20 inches, preferably more)
- Adjust the lighting on the screen so it is not so bright (see if you have a "nighttime" setting that makes the background appear more yellow rather than bright LED white)
- Maintain good posture and stretch regularly
Phoenix AZ Residents Can Start Getting Great Eye Care Today!
There's no better time than the present to schedule an optometry appointment! We're based in Phoenix AZ, though our optometry patients come from across the region. Call, email or drop by the Eye Doctors of Arizona offices today to learn more about how you can take charge of your eye care. Even though you still may have to use a screen for hours every day, we're here to help make sure your eyes don't have to suffer.