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If you frequently end the day with dry, scratchy eyes, headache, sore neck, or blurred vision, you may be suffering from computer vision syndrome. According to the American Optometric Association, the average American worker spends seven hours a day in front of a computer. Prolonged computer use, combined with hours staring at tablets, smart phones, and other screens, contribute to a group of symptoms called computer vision syndrome.
Our Greenville optometrist, Dr. McIntosh, treats many patients suffering from these symptoms. It's usually caused by a combination of things, including:
Most of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome will go away on their own once the offending causes have been corrected, but some, like blurred vision, can persist. The longer you take to correct the problem, the worse you following symptoms can be.
Your first step toward treating this problem is to have your eyes examined to make sure you don't have any uncorrected vision problems. Even if you have relatively new eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may need a different prescription for seeing the middle distance of a computer screen. Our Greenville family eye doctor will examine you for medium distances, as well as checking for nearsightedness and farsightedness. Getting the right new prescription can go a long way toward eliminating computer vision syndrome, but improving your environment is important, as well.
Set up your office area for the optimum viewing position to reduce your symptoms. Your screen should be about two feet in front of you, and the center of the screen should be about four or five inches below eye level. If you use reference materials while working, use a document holder to position them just to the side of the monitor. The goal is to be able to see the materials without having to move your head.
Use drapes or blinds on the windows and use a lower wattage bulb in the lights to reduce the amount of glare on the screen. Move your monitor to a different angle if lights behind you glare on the glass. Get an anti-glare filter for your screen for the best results.
Throw away that old office chair and invest in one that supports your body in an upright position. You should be able to adjust it so that your feet are flat on the floor while you work.
Finally, keep to the 20-20-20 rule every time you work on the computer. Every 20 minutes, look up and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break from keeping the same focus all the time
At Carolina Vision Care, our aim is to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment for an eye exam, call our office at (252) 752-4380.