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Does this sound familiar: you spend most of the day at work looking at a computer? At home, you check email, pay bills, read books and binge watch TV shows all using your laptop, smartphone or tablet. The average American adult now spends eight and a half hours every day in front of a screen. All of this technology may have an unexpected side effect called Computer Vision Syndrome (also known as Digital Eye Strain).
Computer Vision Syndrome is a group of symptoms involving vision problems and eye discomfort. This syndrome describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and mobile device use. Many people have eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. Not surprisingly, the level of discomfort appears to grow with increased digital screen time.
Why now is this worse than the days of yore and reading by candlelight, which could cause eye strain? Electronic media has smaller type, bright backlighting and lower contrast, eye doctors explain. We may also blink less often when looking at digital versus print media, American Academy of Optometry research suggests, which can lead to dry eyes.
Computer Vision Syndrome SymptomsThe most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain are:
How You Can Help Yourself to Reduce These SymptomsLimiting the amount of time spent in front of the computer will have a dramatic impact on symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. But for many people, technology is a major part of our jobs and in our daily lives. So what can we do? Try the 20/20/20 rule: after working on the computer for 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This quick break can actually improve your ability to work efficiently and helps to prevent eye strain. And while you are at it, add a stretch or two on the hour! Taking a two-minute stretch break every hour can act as a vision therapy exercise and can also help to lessen your stress, give you more energy and help with your mental focus, clarity and efficiency.
Protect Your VisionWhat else can you set your sights on to help protect your vision at home and at work?
Don’t forget to keep an eye on your kids, too! It is important to limit children’s computer use. Kids are less likely to take a needed break or even notice discomfort or other symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use by children younger than age 2 and recommends limiting older children's screen time to no more than one or two hours a day.
Sources: American Optometric Association, The Mayo Clinic
haha, I was told this rule by my therapist some time ago when we communicated with him through the telehealth platform. He asked me what I do and how much I sit at the computer, and then recommended these tips to me, because he himself spends a lot of time at the computer and says that his eyes are insanely tired and he also uses these rules.
I wear bifocals w/ transition lenses...will that help with my senitive eyes.
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