on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
With new electronic devices like the iPhone 5, iPad, and others, there may be a rise in patients who suffer from computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Problems from computer vision syndrome can range from physical fatigue to eye twitching. If you think you are suffering from computer vision syndrome, it is important to see an eye doctor who can assess the best personalized treatment for you.
However, if you are like most people who work on electronic devices all day, there are things that you can do to prevent computer vision syndrome. Here are some tips that you can use:
- See An Eye Doctor: The first step to preventing computer vision syndrome is seeing your eye doctor for an eye exam. It is one of the only ways to keep track of your eye health. Make sure to tell your eye doctor if you are a heavy user of electronic devices.
- Embrace the 20/20/20 Rule: If you work on a computer at your desk, make sure to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and shift your vision to something else 20 feet away.
- Remember to Blink: When you work at a computer or on other electronic devices, you are less likely to blink. However, blinking is important because it keeps your eyes moist and prevents dry eye. So remember to blink when you are using electronic devices.
- Take Mini Breaks: Most people only take two 15 minute breaks throughout the work day, but taking shorter more frequent breaks from working on electronic devices like computers are easier on your eyes. Make sure to get up, stretch, and move around during your breaks so that your eyes get a break from looking at a screen.
- Check Your Monitor: According to the AOA, most people find it easier to view a computer screen at a downward angle. The AOA recommends that the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
- Check Your Lighting: Make sure to position your computer screen from overhead fluorescent lights in order to avoid glare. Using curtains on windows can also help prevent glare from outdoor light. Another good trick is to use floor lamps instead of overhead lighting in order to reduce glare.
- Make Sure To Adjust Your Computer Display Settings: Tweaking the display settings of your computer can help you avoid straining your eyes. Adjust the brightness of your screen so that it matches the light around you. If your screen looks like a light source, it is too bright. If it looks dull or gray, it is too dark. Text size and contrast make a difference too. Typically, looking at dark letter against a light background is easier on the eyes.
- Check Your Chair: Adjusting your seat can help prevent your eyes from getting too fatigued. Chairs should be comfortably padded and conform to the body. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, so you may need to adjust your chair height. Check your arm rests to ensure that they are providing support while you type.
- Invest In a Document Holder: If you need to work with reference materials, make sure that you have a document holder that can tilt and display your materials at an angle in front of your computer screen. It should be placed below your monitor but above your key board.
- Ask About Computer Eyewear: Your eye doctor may be able to prescribe computer eyewear that can help alleviate eye strain.