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February 24, 2016 | Ophthalmology
If you are spending time in front of a computer screen or smartphone and your eyes hurt, you may have computer vision syndrome (CVS). Sometimes known as digital eyestrain, CVS can cause a variety of vision problems. While symptoms of CVS are usually temporary and disappear after avoiding use of the computer or smartphone, some people continue experiencing vision problems after they quit using digital devices. Fortunately, our eye care professionals at Revere Health have some helpful hints about what you can do when using a computer makes your eyes hurt.
Computer use is causing widespread eyestrain and discomfort. About 65 percent of people in the United States experience symptoms of digital eyestrain, according to The Vision Council. Fortunately, you can take steps to reduce eye pain associated with computer use.
Certain environmental factors can make your eyes hurt while you are on the computer, including:
You can make your eyes stop hurting. First, reduce the amount of time you spend staring at a digital device. Prolonged use seems to worsen symptoms, as 96 percent of Americans with digital eyestrain spend two or more hours each day using these devices.
Address other factors that promote the development of digital eyestrain. Move further away from the screen. The American Optometric Association says that the computer screen should be 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. Adjust the level of the computer monitor so that the center of the screen is about 4 or 5 inches below the level of your eyes.
Reduce glare. Reposition the monitor to avoid glare, particularly from windows or overhead lighting. Draw the blinds or curtains to reduce the amount of sunlight striking the monitor. Replace bright lightbulbs with lower wattage bulbs. Purchase a screen glare filter to decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
Take rest breaks regularly. Focus your eyes on a faraway object for 20 seconds after using the computer for 20 minutes. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use.
Improve your seating position and posture. Sit in a comfortably padded chair that supports your spine. Adjust the height of the chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor.
Blink frequently. Blinking moistens the front surface of your eye.
Get a comprehensive eye exam from Revere Health. Our eye care professionals will discuss your computer habits, examine your eyes and provide other suggestions to reduce eye discomfort associated with computer use. We will also examine your eyes to detect any underlying eye problems that may make your eyes hurt when you use a computer.
Our ophthalmologist may recommend computer glasses. These special-purpose glasses can reduce eyestrain and eye discomfort while you are at the computer, even if your regular lenses are up-to-date or you do not wear prescription lenses at all. Regular prescription glasses help your eyes focus on distance vision, like that used in driving a car, or on near vision to read a book or do other close work.
Computer glasses help your eyes focus on the intermediate zone of vision, which is in between near vision and distance vision. At 20 t 24 inches from your eyes, your computer monitor is within the intermediate zone of vision. Computer glasses move your eyes’ focus to that intermediate zone, right where you need it for a clear, wide field of view without having to strain your eyes or sit with poor posture.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.