Computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain or eye fatigue, may not seem like much to worry about. In reality, though, it’s just as serious as other vision problems and can even lead to permanent damage to your eyes.
Sitting at your computer for hours can take its toll on your eyes, whether you’re working, gaming, or just surfing the web. The harsh glare of the screen and low lighting condition together can cause symptoms like headaches, blurry vision, and neck pain. Luckily, there are some simple ways to avoid these and other symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome (CVS).
If you notice any of the symptoms below when you’re in front of the computer screen all day, read on to learn more about this condition and how you can take care of your eyes while working with computers.
Computer vision syndrome
Despite our best efforts to monitor how much time we spend in front of our computers, phones, and tablets each day, many people today still suffer from a condition known as computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is an eye health problem caused by too much time spent looking at digital screens.
Computer vision syndrome can be especially problematic for people who spend a lot of time in front of their computers each day. If you’re an entrepreneur, office worker, or student with long hours at your computer each day, there are ways to reduce eye strain and protect your eyesight. Using a computer screen filter is one way to protect your eyes while using your computer.
This is especially true for young people whose eyes aren’t fully developed yet. The symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, red eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to take a break and focus on your eye health.
Here are some signs that you might be suffering from computer vision syndrome:
- Eye Strain – Do your eyes feel tired or strained after using your computer? If so, it could be that your screen is set up incorrectly or you’re sitting too close.
- Headaches – Do you get headaches when using your computer? If so, it could be that you’re focusing too hard on small text or objects on your screen.
- Red Eyes – Are your eyes red after using a computer for a long period? If so, it could be that you’re staring at a screen for too long without blinking.
- Sensitivity to Light – Are you sensitive to light after using a computer for a long period?
- Blurred Vision – Do you have a hard time focusing on things up close? If so, it could be that your eyes aren’t resting properly.
Management to slow computer vision syndrome
A few simple steps can slow or even stop your computer vision syndrome. People who use computers, video games, or cell phones all day should take a break every 20 minutes to look at something in person that’s 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Doctors also recommend eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants because free radicals have contributed to eye health and digital eye strain. Allotting regular time for exercise is another effective prevention tactic—particularly aerobic exercises like running and cycling.
- Take frequent breaks from staring at a computer: The 20-20-20 rule suggests taking a break to look away every 20 minutes, focusing on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This can help keep your eyes healthy in terms of eye health and minimize digital eye strain.
- Make sure your computer is set up correctly: If your computer monitor is too high or too low, if it’s angled incorrectly, or if there’s glare on it, that can lead to digital eye strain and headaches.
- Clean up your workspace: Clear off any objects in your field of vision while you work at a computer; get rid of clutter and keep things tidy.
- Consider investing in an ergonomic keyboard: The right keyboard can make a big difference for anyone who spends hours each day typing on a computer, so it’s worth investing in one with features like adjustable height, wrist support, or a natural curve to help reduce digital eye strain and promote good posture when typing.
- Don’t forget about your eyes: Get regular eye exams to ensure everything is healthy, including eye health and digital eye strain symptoms.
- Use Filters: When using your computer, use a filter on your screen.
- Consider wearing reading glasses while working at a computer: If you’re over 40 and spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, it might be worth investing in reading glasses that correct for digital eye strain symptoms like headaches and blurred vision.
- Always blink: Blinking helps wash away dust and debris that can irritate your eyes, so always keep your eyes moist by blinking regularly.
- Don’t sit too close to your screen: Make sure you’re sitting at least an arm’s length away from your computer monitor, and take a break to get up and walk around for a few minutes.
- Do eye exercises: It might sound silly, but there are eye exercises that can help strengthen your eyes and reduce digital eye strain symptoms.
It’s never too late to take care of your eye health. With proper care, your eyes can have a long and healthy life. The best way to avoid problems down the road is through prevention—so don’t wait until it’s too late! Whether you think you might be suffering from digital eye strain or not, schedule an appointment with your optometrist today. They will provide a comprehensive exam and ensure that your eyes are in good shape for years to come.
Is computer vision syndrome permanent?
While digital eye strain usually results in a temporary condition that can go away once you step away from your computer screen, it’s possible to develop long-term symptoms.
You might be experiencing far more serious eye issues such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If blurry vision or sensitivity to light lasts for an extended period, it’s important to consult with an eye doctor.
Is the 20-20-20 rule the most effective way to cure it?
This is a bit of folklore that, as it happens, may not be entirely correct. The 20-20-20 rule suggests that after every 20 minutes you spend on your computer, look away for at least 20 seconds and focus on something about 20 feet away.
But if you want to cure CVS symptoms quickly and effectively in less than 10 minutes, try these two simple exercises: close your eyes and take three deep breaths (in through your nose; out through your mouth), hold each for one to two seconds.