It’s easy to say that the average person spends more than twenty-five percent of their day in front of a screen. Whether it’s work, entertainment, or passive viewing, it’s hard to unplug ourselves from the digital world. As Americans, we average more than 7 hours a day looking at a screen. That’s just shy of a third of our entire day. With these impressive and slightly concerning numbers presented, it’s not hard to see how an issue resulting from prolonged exposure to digital surfaces might originate.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain refers to a condition in which vision problems and eye discomfort become apparent after staring at a screen for extended amounts of time. These problems can compound when paired with preexisting conditions such as farsightedness or astigmatism. Although most of these issues are temporary and tend to resolve after a short absence of screen viewing, some symptoms may become recurring and even worsen over time.
Computer vision syndrome symptoms include dry eyes, eyestrain, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be a good idea to set your screen aside and focus on something further away. The 20-20-20 rule is an excellent guideline to follow when dealing with prolonged exposure to screens. Take a break every 20 minutes to stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to relax and take a break from the strain of staring at something close on a brightly illuminated screen.
What Factors Contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome?
From the symptoms above, you might be able to assess that your eyes may not be the only victims of CVS. Your screen is a primary contributor to the condition, but the screen itself is not the only cause.
- Where your computer screen is located can support or reduce the development of computer vision syndrome. An improperly placed screen can cause neck and shoulder pain to occur. Screens that are placed at a low level can also create eye fatigue.
- Poor lighting or overly bright screens can also create vision problems if your eyes are subjected to them for too long.
- The glare from outside light sources can make viewing things on a screen more difficult and cause eyestrain as your eyes focus on what’s on the screen while navigating around the glare.
- Inconsistent breaks from looking at the screen can cause eyestrain. Not allowing your eyes to refocus now and again can make eye fatigue set in.
- Although it might seem like common sense, blinking is a necessary action when facing a screen for long periods. Blinking helps to moisturize your eyes, and not doing so will dry them out quickly.
How can I prevent CSV?
While some factors at work may be unavoidable, many of the significant variables that cause CSV can be neutralized by proactive responses. Simple steps can be taken to keep your vision strong and your body pain-free.
Don’t Ignore Pre-Existing Conditions
Pre-existing vision problems can become more significant when ignored in front of a screen. If you have minor issues outside of work that don’t require corrective lenses, the use of corrective lenses inside the workplace should be considered. With so many other variables attacking the integrity of your vision for 8 hours of the day, that mild farsightedness might become more extreme. That slight astigmatism might flare up into a more substantial impairment. We use our eyes a lot during the day, but what we ask our eyes to do during work hours is usually exponentially more than what we ask them to do outside work. Consider using corrective lenses to alleviate some of the strain on your vision
Make Your Workspace Comfortable and Efficient
Low lights, screen tinting, indirect light, screen positioning, and body support throughout the day are all things we should think about when we work. The more comfortable our body is, and the more support it has, the less strain we will face at the end of the day. The same is true for our eyes. Low lights, indirect light, and screen tinting will help to reduce screen glare and allow your eyes to focus without the annoyance of glares on your screen.
Take Frequent Breaks
When you’re working hard behind a screen, it may be hard to pull yourself away for a moment to let your eyes readjust. While the effects of not allowing your eyes to refocus may not be apparent immediately, by the end of the day, your eyes will feel the strain. Adapting the 20-20-20 rule is an excellent first step to ensuring your eyes stay rested and focused. Getting up to adjust your posture and walking around will also help you overcome Computer Vision Syndrome.
Get the Eye Care You Need from Eyes of Lubbock
When it comes to eye health throughout the work day and even in our moments of leisure, being conscious of the amount of time we spend in front of a screen can go a long way in making sure our eyes stay fit and healthy. If you’re having issues refocusing your eyes or experiencing symptoms of blurred vision due to fatigue at the end of the work day, an eye exam might be beneficial to rule out any other compounding ailments. Eyes of Lubbock is ready to help you get your eyesight back to normal. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!