What Our Eye Doctor Wants You to Know About Computer Vision Syndrome
A study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence found that the average American adult spends more than eight hours a day staring at one computer screen or another. The number goes up with every device you own. From video consoles to smartphones, we have become a society that relies on technology to get through the day. You may not realize the eye problems that go along with our need to see everything on a screen. Learn more about computer vision syndrome and what your eye doctor can do about it
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome is a repetitive use injury similar to carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow. The constant eye movement associated with staring at a screen, then looking around or up and down puts a strain on the muscles that control the eyes. It is estimated that between 50 to 90 percent of people that work at a computer each day develop eye problems.
What are the Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome is an umbrella term for a number of eye problems, so the symptoms vary. Signs include:
- Blurry vision
- Eye discomfort due to strain
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
The condition starts mild and gets progressively worse if left untreated.
How Does Our Eye Doctor Treat Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision treatment in Elko starts with a comprehensive eye exam. The eye doctor will screen you for a number of other conditions, as well, such as glaucoma. During the exam, the optometrist will discuss your computer use with you. Tests include:
- Visual acuity to measure the quality of your vision
- Refraction to test various lens prescriptions
- Focus and eye coordination show how well your eyes work together and how quickly they focus on objects at different distances.
Using the measurements, our optometry staff is able to design a treatment plan best suited for your condition. The exact treatment depends on a number of factors, including whether your vision is otherwise normal. If so, our Elko optometrist will prescribe specially designed glasses that you use when you are on the computer. If you currently wear glasses or contact lenses, you might benefit from a more computer-friendly prescription.
Our optometrist in Elko will also suggests some lifestyle changes to ease the stress on your eyes and reduce your symptoms such as:
- Adjusting your computer monitor so it sits 15 to 20 degrees lower than your eye level and 20 to 28 away from you.
- Reposition the room lighting to reduce glare and use natural light whenever possible.
- Rest your eyes every 20 minutes while you are working by looking at a distant point away from the screen for 20 seconds to force your eyes to refocus. Take at least a 15-minute break every two hours, as well.