We live in an age in which many of us rely almost entirely on our computers, smartphones and/or tablets to get through our every-day lives. As a result, many hours are spent by most of us, either during our leisure time or for work, looking at the screens of these or other electronic devices.
Because of the eye’s natural difficulty focusing on these types of screens, and the increased amount of harmful blue light that these devices send directly to our eyes, a previously unknown eye condition, called Computer Vision Syndrome, has become increasingly common in recent years. As much as 90 percent of all people who consistently work with computers suffer from eye strain leading to Computer Vision Syndrome.
There are many uncomfortable symptoms of Computer Vision, including physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased work errors. Minor annoyances, such as eye twitching and red eyes, have also been reported.
Fortunately, our Eye Care team serving the Belmont, Bridgeport, Thurman and Woodstock communities, can recommend several steps to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome:
- Change the layout of your work space. With a few minor adjustments, a new configuration for your work space can help your eyes deal with strain associated with working all day on the computer. It is important to always minimize the impact of light coming in from outside. The easiest and most obvious way to do this is by simply closing the shades. You can also place your computer screen with windows to the outside off to the side, rather than behind or in front of it, to reduce strain on your eyes from bright sunlight that streams in through the window and can cause discomfort.
- Set your monitor settings properly to maximize comfort. Monitor settings, when set incorrectly, can also do a great deal to detract from your visual comfort while on the computer. Our eye doctors advise that if you have an old tube-style monitor, you should get rid of it as soon as possible. This style of monitor has a noticeable, uncomfortable ‘flicker,’ and likely gives off glare that contributes to computer vision syndrome. LCD screens, by contrast, lack this flicker and very often include an anti-reflective surface. You should also adjust your computer’s display settings correctly. Brightness, text size, contrast and color temperature all add to or diminish your experience.
- Annual eye exams are extremely important. Whether you’re coming in because of problems with Computer Vision Syndrome, a new pair of eyeglasses or anything in between, yearly eye exams are your first stop to finding if there is a problem, and having it properly treated! Those who work most of their days on the computer should have an eye exam before they start working, and every year after that, so that their eye doctor can keep track of changes, and treat symptoms as they are diagnosed. Also, speak to us about custom computer glasses to help deal with computer eye strain.