The average American who works at a desk job spends approximately seven hours per day in front of a computer, according to the American Optometric Association. That’s almost one-third of the day! With this statistic, it’s no wonder that so many Americans are experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome, like blurred vision and headaches.
Also known as digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome refers to visual health problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices like computers, smart phones, e-readers and other gadgets. While computer vision syndrome can affect anyone who spends significant time working on a computer, the effects are more severe among patients with pre-existing visual health problems, like binocular vision dysfunction. In today’s post, we explain what computer vision syndrome is and provide tips for managing the condition.
What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Do your eyes ever feel dry and bleary after a long day of computer work? Do your shoulders and neck ache after a lengthy texting session on your smart phone? Do you experience headaches if you spend too much time on your digital devices? If any of these apply to you, you may be suffering from computer vision syndrome, a term used to describe a group of symptoms that result from too much time spent in front of digital devices.
What Causes This Condition?
Reading words on an electronic screen is different in several key ways than reading a physical book or piece of paper. First of all, the typeface on a digital device is generally not as precise as it is in printed publications, which puts extra strain on your eyes (even though you may not consciously realize you are straining). Secondly, these devices emit bright light that can be difficult for your eyes to handle, leading to exhaustion and headaches.
In addition to affecting your visual health, spending too much time on your gadgets can also cause muscle pain in your neck and shoulders. If you wear glasses, you may find that you need to tilt your device in an unusual way to get a good view of the screen, which can put strain on your muscles.
The leading causes of computer eye strain include:
- Inadequate lighting
- Glare from your digital screen
- Bad posture
- Inappropriate viewing distances
- Other untreated vision problems
What Are the Symptoms?
Computer vision syndrome can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Dry eyes
- Strained eyes
- Blurred vision
- Pain in your neck and shoulders
How We Can Help
At Neuro Visual Center of New York, we recommend using the 20-20-20 approach when working on your digital devices for prolonged periods of time: after 20 minutes of looking at the screen, rest your eyes on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If symptoms persist, come to our office for an eye exam so we can assess your visual health and provide effective eye strain treatment. Call us today at (516) 224-4888 to schedule your appointment.