With more of our work, communication and leisure time taking place digitally, the team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons has seen an uptick in patients experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome — also referred to as digital eye strain.
Common symptoms of digital eye strain include eye fatigue, eye dryness or irritation, headaches, blurry vision and neck and shoulder pain. The more time spent using a computer, the worse the symptoms can be.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce symptoms of digital eye strain without giving up your job or social media use. Read on as our team shares some simple steps to minimize digital eye strain when working on computers.
Blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated by spreading your tear film over the surface of your eyes. However, when working on computers for long periods of time, our blink rate naturally tends to slow down, drying out our eyes. Make an effort to blink more when doing computer work. If dryness still persists, you can try supplementing your eyes with artificial tears.
Give Your Eyes a Break
Organizations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association recommend following the “20-20-20” rule to give your eyes regular breaks. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to stare at something 20 feet away. This allows your eyes a chance to refocus.
Furthermore, for every two hours of computer work, give your eyes a 15-minute rest from your screen.
If you have a hard time remembering to take breaks, try setting a timer.
Adjust Your Computer Screen
Ideally your screen or monitor should be positioned approximately 20 to 28 inches from your eyes, with the center of the screen about 4 to 5 inches below eye level. Adjust your desk or chair so you can read what’s on your screen with your head and torso in an upright position. Try to practice good posture at all times and avoid hunching over your screen.
Adjust your computer screen so that ambient lighting isn’t creating glare. If you cannot move your screen, try using a glare filter to minimize the amount of light reflected from the screen.
Have Regular Eye Exams
Finally, it is best to undergo regular eye exams so our doctors can rule out the possibility of an underlying eye problem causing or contributing to your symptoms. We can also provide additional tips to reduce symptoms associated with digital eye strain.
To request an appointment, please contact our team today.