Read more about Computer Vision Syndrome

The Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain, is caused when people spend too much time looking at computer screens or digital devices such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. Looking at a computer screen is not the same as reading a book. A lot of people have been suffering from digital eye strain after the pandemic. There has been an increase in virtual activities, virtual learning, and more zoom meetings. Therefore, people are experiencing more digital eye strain. If you are one of the many people who are experiencing eyes that are tired, sore, painful, gritty, watery, dry, or just uncomfortable after computer or phone use, then read on for some helpful tips on reducing those symptoms.

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome

Symptoms you may experience include dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, and neck and shoulder pain. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to schedule an appointment so that your eye doctor can determine the best course of action.

What should you do to alleviate symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

The best treatment depends on the cause of your symptoms, therefore the following are general guidelines, however we encourage you to schedule an eye exam in order to get specific advice based on the cause of your symptoms.

Dry eyes: The reason you may have a lot of dry eyes could be that when you stare at a computer screen for too long, you don't blink as often or as deeply. Your eye will feel the symptoms of dry eye when you don't blink as often, since the front of your eye is not well lubricated. The first step is to ensure that you are improving the quality and quantity of your blinking, following which you can discuss with our eye doctor additional treatment options for improving the quality and quantity of your tears.

Which leads us to the next tip….

Blink more: You can engage in a number of different blinking exercises that will increase the frequency and fullness of your blinks.

For example, close your eyes normally, pause for 2 seconds, then open them. Next, close the eyes normally once again, pause for 2 seconds, and then forcefully close them. Hold the lids together tightly for two seconds, then open both eyes. Repeat for 1 minute. A firm squeeze is used to ensure that the muscles responsible for closing the eyelids are being used.

20-20-20 rule: You can follow the 20-20-20 rule, which means every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. In essence, you need to take frequent breaks from your computer, look far away so that your focusing system can adjust and that you can blink more.

Anti glare filter: Reducing glare is another way to help relieve digital eye strain symptoms. You can put an anti-glare coating on your glasses if you wear glasses. A filter can also be placed on top of your computer screen to reduce glare.

Posture: Ensuring that your computer is at arms' length from you and having a correct posture is important. You should also try elevating yourself so that when you're looking at the computer, you are actually looking downward by 15 to 20 degrees. Improper posture can lead to stress on the visual system as well as back and neck pain.

Digital device related eye strain :Another possible cause of your eye strain is having binocularity issues or focusing issues that are causing your eye strain. The combination of a reduced focusing ability and looking at a screen up close for so long wears out the binocularity system, creating a lot of eye strain and headaches. To treat the underlying cause of your eye strain, you may need to undergo vision therapy training at your eye doctor. You may also experience an increase in your minus prescription due to prolonged digital device use and prolonged close tasks. And this is especially evident in younger children. Children spend hours and hours staring at a computer screen during their virtual learning. Due to all this near work, their minus prescription increases, which creates a variety of problems.

Schedule an eye exam to get ahead of computer vision syndrome

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call your eye doctor to schedule an eye exam so that they can properly diagnose, manage, and treat your condition. While in most cases computer vision syndrome is not a serious health condition, in some cases the symptoms are the result of a more serious condition. It is always best to have specific guidance based on a comprehensive evaluation by an eye doctor.

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