Relieve the Painful Effects of Computer Vision Syndrome
The average American worker spends at least seven hours a day on a computer, not including time spent with computers or mobile devices at home. This trend can lead to discomfort for many patients because digital screens require that the eyes work much harder. As a result, many individuals develop eyestrain, and experience various symptoms from conditions referred to collectively as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. To help ease this strain, Dr. Walter Choate offer a wide range of treatments for computer vision syndrome at their Goodlettsville, TN, practice, from special lenses to visual exercises.
Understanding the Basics
Computer vision syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of vision problems caused by prolonged use of a computer, tablet, e-reader, cell phone, or other device with a digital screen. Certain characteristics of these screens make them much harder on the eyes than traditional print. These qualities can include lower contrast between the print and the background, glares and reflections on the screen, viewing distance, and so on.
As a result, extended use of such devices can lead to symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
While the effects of digital eye strain usually fade after a person stops using the digital device, some patients suffer blurred vision long after, and certain symptoms may even worsen. Oftentimes, too much screen time can also exacerbate uncorrected visual problems, such as farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, and inadequate focusing or eye coordination.
You can take a number of measures to protect your eyes against computer-related visual problems, including:
- “20-20-20 rule”: Ever 20 minutes, you should take a 20-second break to look at something at least 20 feet away. This gives your eyes time to rest and also ensures that you are using other muscles regularly.
- Lighting conditions: The darker a room is, the brighter a digital screen can be, and the harder it is on your eyes. Take the time turn on lights when settling to use a digital device for long periods of time.
- Anti-glare screens: These can help to cut down on reflections or glares that make it more difficult to see the screen.
- Location of screen: If you are working on a desktop, position the screen so that its center is about four to five inches below eye level and about two feet from your eyes.
- Frequent blinking: Because dry eye is one of the most common conditions associated with computer vision syndrome, it is important to keep your eyes moist by blinking regularly.
For problems such as inadequate focusing or poor eye coordination, Drs. Choate and Van Del can put together a structured training regimen to improve visual abilities.
Although prevention is often the best cure when it comes to computer vision syndrome, some issues may require in-office treatment – particularly uncorrected visual problems. An examination at the doctor’s office can help to determine an appropriate solution. Common corrective measures include:
- Specially designed eyeglasses or contact lenses: Many people who can see perfectly well without corrective eyewear normally require extra help when using a digital screen. Special lens designs, powers, tints, and coatings can maximize your visual abilities and ease eyestrain.
- Visual therapy: For issues such as inadequate focusing or poor eye coordination, Drs. Choate can put together a structured training regimen to improve visual abilities. These exercises teach the brain and eyes how to work together more efficiently. Most exercises can be done at the office or in the comfort of your own home.