Computer Vision Syndrome
Working on a computer, tablet or cell phone can cause a lot of fatigue and eyestrain. Today we are not only looking at a computer screen but we are multitasking, looking at hard copy, reading emails on cell phones, and working on lap tops and net book computers all at the same time! Our eyes were not meant to keep up with the vision demands that we have today using the lens technology that was used years ago.
Some common complaints of patients who spend a lot of time on the computer include blurred vision, double vision, vision fluctuating or going in and out of focus, tired or burning or red eyes, and shoulder, upper back and neck strain.
The easiest of solutions is to avoid the activity all together. For most of us, that is not an option. Instead, focus on preventing the harmful results by arranging a proper work station. An ideal workplace can make a world of difference. Proper keyboard height, screen position and chair height can help a great deal. Additionally, take frequent breaks. Our optometrist, Dr. Joshi, usually suggests a 20 second break, blinking 20 times while looking 20 feet away for every 20 minutes of computer work.
It is ideal to have the computer screen below the line of sight by 10-15 degrees and also to have the computer screen at a minimum distance of 20-26 inches away from your line of sight to reduce eyestrain. Also, it may be advisable to put your hard copy on a stand beside the computer screen so that eyes don’t have to focus back and forth at different distances.
Having adequate lighting and making sure there is no glare from the computer screen can have a great impact. The computer puts out harmful blue light which can harm your eyes. To avoid this, a filter system is needed. This can be done by having an anti-reflective coating put on your lenses, or a glare filter on your screen. An anti-reflective coating has the additional benefit of cutting down glare with nightime driving and improving the cosmetic appearance of lenses, so that reflections are not visible to the patient.
For patients that have problems with burning, red or tired eyes, it is possible they may also have dry eye syndrome. Treatments for this condition may include using eye drops several times a day. Some patients may also have binocular vision dysfunctions, where the eye muscles don’t focus or work well together. Different eye glass prescriptions or eye muscle exercises may be recommended to treat this problem.
Specific glasses for computer use can be made depending on your work space. Some possibilities include computer bifocals, wider field progressive lenses, computer progressive lenses, or single vision lenses for computer use. To learn more, book an appointment with our Plano, TX eye doctor and discuss which option best suites your lifestyle.