In this day and age with all the technology we have at our finger tips, we often all find ourselves glued to our computers, tablets, smartphones and television more than ever. Did you know that Canadian youth spend an average of 6 hours a day, and more than 7 hours on weekends in front of a screen? That statistic might be quite alarming to some. While it is to me, I can’t say it is surprising.
However, what many don’t realize is how increased screen time imposes on our overall eye health. Sitting in front of the screen causes our eyes to work harder, quite often realigning and refocusing to help us maintain a clear image while we are continually looking at the screen. The effects of this can cause Computer Vision Syndrome.
Computer Vision Syndrome is a syndrome that many of us are affected by. However, many may not even know that this syndrome even exists.
Computer Vision Syndrome does not cause one specific eye problem. Rather you may find yourself more commonly complaining of eye strain or pain of a varying degree. Other symptoms that are commonly reported by those suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome, include:
- Red, irritated eyes,
- Double vision,
- Headaches ,
- Back and neck pain, and,
- Blurred Vision.
Computer Vision Syndrome can pose as quite the nuisance. However, there are many things you can do to relieve the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome:
Visit your optometrist regularly. It is extremely important to keep your health in check. By seeking out regular eye exams, your doctor can help you ensure that you are able to manage and reduce your computer vision syndrome symptoms (if you are experiencing any). Have young children? Look into Eye See…Eye Learn® – a program that provides OHIP covered eye exams and free glasses for junior kindergarten children through an Ontario Association Optometrist member.
Give your eyes a break. Try not to spend as much time looking at the screen when you are busy working. Take a break from the screen every 20 minutes or so by getting up to grab a drink of water, gazing out the window, daydream for 20 seconds… Anything really just to give your eyes a chance to reset. Just ensure that the break is a minimum of 20 seconds and every 20 minutes!
Adjust the settings on your computer. If you visit the control panel on your computer, you will find that you are easily able to adjust the settings on your computer. The ones that you really want to take control over are your monitor’s brightness, the contrast and setting the font size to a size that is easy on your eyes.
Adjust the placement of your computer. According to researchers, the optimal level of your computer is just below eye level, about 20-28 inches away from your face. If you are able to set up your computer in a way that it can be at this optimal level, you will find that it helps you to reduce and prevent neck and eye strain. As well, try to position your computer in an area that has minimal glare. You can minimize glare by dimming lights, closing blinds, keeping your computer in a more shaded area or by purchasing a glare filter.
Ultimately, out of all the things you can do to relieve the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, the first point I shared with you is the most important. Visit your optometrist often! Trust me, I know, as someone who practically lived out of her optometrist’s office during her childhood, it can be a pain to go. However, that hour out of your day just to receive an eye exam and keep your eye health in check will do you wonders. Not only that, it can help you and your family protect yourselves from Computer Vision Syndrome. So book an appointment with your local Optometrist today. If you don’t have one, click here!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Ontario Association of Optometrists. The opinions and language are all my own.