Today’s digital age presents a unique set of potential problems for your eyes. Many professions require people to sit in front of a computer screen for eight or more hours a day. At the computer, images and texts are constantly moving and shifting back and forth, in and out of focus as you work. This movement makes your eyes focus and refocus on all of the different things you are looking at.

Over a period of time, overexposure to computer screens and smartphones can cause eye strain and problems in the future. This article will talk about some of the solutions to combat eye strain with your digital devices and explain what actually happens when you experience computer vision syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) does not cover one specific ailment, but rather, a wide range of problems or issues that could fall under CVS. Looking at a computer screen requires more effort from your eyes than looking at a piece of paper with writing on it. Computers or handheld devices have screens that vary in contrast, brightness, flicker, and glare. All of these factors increase the demand from your eyes and play a major role in developing CVS.

Symptoms of CVS

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Red Eyes
  • Double Vision
  • Neck Pain

 

People who suffer from prior vision problems are more susceptible to experience CVS.

Solutions

There are a few simple solutions that you can implement to counteract the effects of CVS:

Lighting

The position of your computer relative to where you sit or stand plays a huge role in the way light reflects off of it. Adjust your computer to avoid or cut out any glare that may be coming off of your screen. This will decrease the work your eyes have to do when viewing your computer screen.

Break Time

A general rule of thumb to use when you are working at a computer for eight or more hours a day is to reference the 20/20/20 rule. The 20/20/20 rule means to take a break from viewing your screen every twenty minutes for twenty seconds, to look at something that is twenty or more feet away from where you are. The 20/20/20 exercise allows your eyes to refocus on something away from your computer and gives your eyes a chance to relax. Twenty seconds is the approximate time your eyes need to completely relax from looking at your computer screen.