When you are out and about, or even walking through your own home or office, how many people do you see glued to some type of screen? According to research, more than 90% of people today are exposed to digital technology for 2 hours every day. 30% spend more than 9 hours each day in front of a screen of some sort. We may go from our computer screen to our phone screen to the television. Whatever the device, this amount of time can have detrimental effects on general health and wellness, including eye health.
Most people are well aware that computer use can lead to eye strain; but there’s more. Ninety percent of individuals who spend several hours a day on screen time report some degree of visual disturbance. Common complaints include chronic headaches, eye strain, and blurred vision. This can be especially prominent when you go from looking at an up-close screen to looking in the distance. These disturbances have a name: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Signs of Computer Vision Syndrome include:
- Eye strain
- Itching and burning
- Eye redness and dryness
- Double vision or other blurriness
- Neck and shoulder pain
Protecting your Eyes Against Computer Strain
Long-term use of digital technology without the proper habits to mitigate its effects can lead to permanent vision damage. The risk can be reduced by making a few healthy choices:
- Just look away! Eye strain is very common in today’s digital society. We just aren’t wired to be hooked up to electronics for hours at a time. Not everyone can ditch their computer; if you are one of those people, make it a habit to take frequent breaks. Set an alarm at 20-minute intervals. Then close your eyes so they can rest. Before turning back to your screen, look at an object about 20 feet away.
- Computer monitors have settings; use them. Lowering the brightness of your screen can do wonders for your eyes. Also consider enlarging the font if it reduces the strain on your eyes.
- Glare comes not only from the computer itself but also from the lighting around you. Change light bulbs, close blinds, and consider getting a glare protector for your screen.
- Position yourself a few feet from your computer, and slightly higher so you are not looking up to do tedious work.
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