Many people who use computers or digital screens for an extended period of time experience a range of eye problems, commonly known as Computer Vision Syndrome. The typical symptoms include blurred vision, eye strain, dry eye and headaches. The severity of the symptoms is usually dependent on the length of time that you use the digital screen (ie: computer, tablet, iphone, etc). Don’t fret! Computer vision syndrome can be solved with some simple tricks when you’re using your devices.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
When you use a computer or other digital screen for a prolonged time period, you tend to blink a lot less. It’s something that eye doctors refer to as a “blink-rate”. In fact, people tend to only blink about one-third as often when working on the computer. Less blinking causes the eyes to become dry and irritated. There’s a simple solution though! Simply remind yourself to blink more often. It may sound silly, but being aware of blinking will drastically improve how your eyes feel while working on your devices. It is beneficial to also take a break every so often as well. If your eyes continue to feel dry and irritated, ask your eye doctor about using lubricating drops to reduce symptoms.
The Game Changer: The 20-20-20 Rule
Many people experience eyestrain after prolonged computer use. Working on the computer requires a lot of effort from your eyes causing them to feel fatigued and strained. There is a rule you can use though to help reduce this strain; eye doctors call it the 20-20-20 rule: look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Since we often become engrossed in our work, set a timer every 20 minutes to help you remember. The 20-20-20 rule will reduce the demand on the eyes’ focusing system and lessen eye fatigue.
Your Optometrist Knows Best
If you’re often experiencing dry eye symptoms while on the computer, visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor can prescribe a pair of glasses specifically for computer use. Your optometrist can can also make suggestions for an appropriate working distances from your digital screens based on your power in your glasses or contact lens prescription. Your optometrist is also a great resource to determine which brand of lubricating drops or artificial tears are best for your eyes.