Prolonged screen time is becoming more and more prevalent in daily life. It is almost impossible to avoid extended use of a computer, phone, or tablet throughout the day. Long-term viewing of digital screens can cause a group of eye symptoms, such as dryness, eye strain, double vision and headaches, known as Computer Vision Syndrome. As Americans find themselves spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens, Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as CVS or Digital Eye Strain, has become a common complaint brought to eye doctors.
Did You Know that Digital Screens May Cause Computer Vision Syndrome?
CVS can present with a wide range of symptoms resulting from long-term use of digital screens. Most people notice problems while they are looking at their computer or tablet, but some symptoms can persist even after computer use has stopped. Most commonly, those suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome will notice dry or itchy eyes, eye fatigue, and headaches. Sometimes blurry vision or even double vision can occur. In extreme cases, those affected by CVS may develop sleep disorders due to prolonged use of digital screens. If you notice symptoms like this following extended screen viewing, you may be affected by Computer Vision Syndrome.
Digital Eye Strain can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but steps can be taken to address the problem and prevent future discomfort. Read on to learn more about what you can do to prevent CVS and protect your eyes.
Consider Computer Glasses
For many professionals, heavy computer use is unavoidable. In some cases, specialized computer glasses can be useful in preventing symptoms of CVS. During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor at Lilac Family Eye Care can take into account your regular prescription and your digital screen use to write a personalized prescription specifically designed for computer use. Many people find success with the use of progressive lenses, or no-line bifocals, which can provide clear vision for intermediate distances like the computer. Blue-blocking lenses are another option; these lenses have new technology that reduce exposure to high-energy light rays from digital screens that are typically the culprit for eye strain and fatigue.
Treat Your Dryness
When you spend a long period of timing staring at a digital screen, your blink rate significantly decreases; in fact, you blink about a third as often as normal. This results in the dryness and irritation commonly associated with CVS. Computer use alone can cause symptoms of dryness, or can worsen symptoms of already-existing dry eye problems. Your eye doctor can recommend a specialized treatment regimen to address your symptoms of dryness, which may include eye drops. In the meantime, remind yourself to blink!
Give Your Eyes a Break
Long hours at a computer screen demands a lot of work from the eye’s focusing system. As a result, prolonged exposure to digital screens may cause computer vision syndrome as expressed by eye fatigue, headaches, and even double vision. By following a simple suggestion called that 20-20-20 rule, you can help reduce eyestrain due to computer use. This rule says that for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, you should give your eyes a break by looking at an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. These short periods of distance viewing will help relieve the eye’s focusing system and prevent some of the eye fatigue associated with long term screen use.