Screen Time and Computer Vision Syndrome
Work is… well… work, and requires effort. If you use a computer for a large part of your day, you may experience eye strain and fatigue. “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)” is an actual diagnosis that describes some of the issues associated with computer screen use. To avoid earning the diagnosis of CVS, you might try some or all of these easy tips to ease your effort and improve eye comfort while working on a computer.
- Get an eye exam. If it has been a long time, perhaps you would benefit from vision correction or a change in prescription to ensure your best vision.
- Blink more often. When you are intently working with a computer or deskwork, you blink only about 1/3 as much as you would under normal circumstances. As a result, eyes can become dry due to increased tear evaporation — blinking spreads and refreshes tears.
- Look up and away from your desk. Try the 20/20/20 rule – every twenty minutes, look twenty feet away for twenty seconds. The objective is to let your eyes rest, and not be in a state of focusing effort for hours on end.
- Minimize glare. Light from windows and reflected off walls and ceilings can cause glare on a computer screen. Position your monitor to reduce reflected light. Also adjust window blinds and desk lamps.
- Use good desk lighting. Consider using a desktop lamp to illuminate desktop surfaces. More light on your desktop surface improves eye focusing ability and reduces eye fatigue.
- Consider upgrading your computer monitor. Newer LCD screens have less glare, consume less energy, and have a higher screen refresh rate that eliminates the screen flickering that can occur with older monitors that only support 60 Hz.
- Adjust computer display settings. Default computer screen brightness settings are often much too bright. Adjust the brightness down to a more comfortable level.
- If you are wearing progressive or bifocal glasses and find you have to tip your head up high to see the computer, try lowering your computer screen if possible so that you look more downward at the screen, or consider office or computer eyeglasses that are specifically made for computer and deskwork.
- Consider blue-light filtering eyeglass lenses. Screens emit a large amount of blue light, a wavelength of light that does not focus onto your retina very well. According to new research, blue light may potentially contribute to cataract formation as well as macular degeneration that may occur later in life.
Hopefully these tips can improve your eye comfort during the workday so you can return home at the end of a busy day with less eye strain and fatigue.
Work is work. Just don’t make it too hard on your eyes!