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Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome is considered an often temporary condition that results from staring at computer screens, mobile screens, or other devices with screens for a protracted period of time.

computer vision syndromeIf you are reading this, you are staring at a digital screen. Since virtually all of us depend on our computers, smartphones, or tablets for researching, purchasing, watching videos, or performing our nine-to-five  work, we will sometime in the future, if we haven't already, display the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Have you noticed any of the following lately? Your answer will most likely be yes if you spend two or more hours at the screen daily.

  • blurred vision
  • eye strain
  • headaches
  • dry eyes
  • neck and/or shoulder pain

The good news is these symptoms tend to be temporary and will decline once you switch off your screen. The bad news is that these symptoms can become more severe the longer the period of time you stare into the screen. If you have any uncorrected vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or focus or eye coordination troubles, the worse your symptoms may become.

What You Can Do About Computer Vision

Reading from a screen is harder on the eyes than reading a printed page. The letters on the screen are not as sharply defined, nor is the contrast as sharp, and to make matters worse glare and reflection make viewing impossible at times. The distance from which, and the angle at which, you view the screen is also different from those involved in reading a paper or book. While in all likelihood, you are not going to give up your screen for the printed page, you can change your computer environment.

  • Your eyes prefer glancing down so make sure your screen remains 15 - 20 degrees, or 4 - 5 inches below eye level.
  • To eradicate glare, give thought to where you place the screen in relation to windows or overhead lighting, or as an added precaution, look into getting an anti-glare filter
  • If you will be referring to papers, books, or documents, place them below the monitor and above the screen, or use a document holder, whichever will help you minimize your head movements.
  • Take fifteen minute breaks every two hours.
  • Blink

What Your Manchester Optometrist Can Do

Diagnosing CVS calls for a comprehensive eye exam at your Manchester Optometrist consists of:

  • A patient history to assess symptoms, general health, medications taken, environmental factors
  • Visual acuity measurements to assess the extent to which sight is affected
  • Refraction to determine the strength of lens needed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Focus and coordination testing

Solutions to your problem will depend on the individual and whether eyeglasses or contacts can help, or an existing prescription needs to be changed. There is only one way to find out. Call and schedule an appointment with your Manchester optometrist at 860-644-3364.

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