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Computer Vision Syndrome

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Article adapted from Prevent Blindness

Tips to Help Keep Vision Healthy At Work

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Because one of the many negative effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in digital screen time for many remote workers, we are raising awareness of digital eye strain and providing tips on ways to decrease the effects of increased screen time.

insta stills 1000x1000 2Symptoms of digital eye strain, also referred to as computer vision syndrome, include tired, burning or itching eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision and/or headache. To help reduce the effects, your doctor may recommend:

  • Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.
  • Use a document holder placed next to your screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
  • Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your digital screens can also help.
  • Get a chair you can adjust.
  • Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.
  • Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light can help ease digital eye strain by increasing contrast.
  • Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast and also block blue light from digital devices.

 

20 20 eyesights

  • Take frequent breaks by using the “20-20-20” rule, as recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the and the American Optometric Association. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset and replenish themselves.

214824 hsg eye infographic prevent august

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those who work in other settings, such as construction or manufacturing, your doctor may stress the importance of eye protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day approximately 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of these injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, and more than 100 result in one or more days away from work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.

Safety eyewear protection includes:

  • Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses
  • Goggles
  • Face shields
  • Welding helmets
  • Full-face respirators

“Healthy vision is crucial for productive work, independence, and quality of life,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We must make our eyes a priority today to help maintain healthy eyesight throughout our lives.”

 

Tips to Relax Your Eyes

Do your eyes hurt after spending a significant amount of time reading, playing video games, driving, or staring at a screen? These visually intense activities can sometimes be hard on the eyes, causing uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and blurry vision. Other symptoms of eye strain can include light sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain, trouble concentrating, and burning or itchy eyes. 

Fortunately, preventing painful computer vision syndrome and eye fatigue symptoms can be as simple as trying a few of these eye exercises. To learn more about digital eye strain and discover the best relief options for you, call Family Eye Professionals at 708-930-5735 and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Deanna Khalil. 

Relax Your Eyes with These Supportive Techniques

Many of these exercises are designed for computer users. Eye strain resulting from long drives, reading, or other activities, can be alleviated by modifying some of these recommendations.

The Clock Exercise

The clock exercise relieves strain on overworked eye muscles and can help you avoid headaches and eye pain, among other symptoms. Begin the exercise by imagining a large analog clock a few feet in front of you. Keep your head still and move your eyes to the imaginary 9, then to the imaginary 3.  

Keep moving your eyes to the opposite pairs on the clock — 10/4, 11/5, 12/6, and so on. Hold your gaze for a second or two on each number before moving on to the next one. Continue doing this for 4-5 minutes. 

The 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule helps you avoid dry eyes and eye strain by giving your eyes frequent breaks. After about 20 minutes of screen time or doing close-up work, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives the eyes a much needed rest and helps them relax. There are also free apps available that provide pop-up reminders that notify you when it’s time to shift your gaze.  

Screen Ergonomics

The American Optometric Association recommends placing computer monitors 20 to 28 inches, or 50-70 cm, away from your eyes and the top of the computer should be at eye level or right below for optimum eye comfort. Glare filters can reduce the amount of glare produced by digital devices and improve your viewing experience. 

Poor sitting posture can also contribute to eye strain. Your chair should be situated so that your feet are flat on the floor, or use an angled footrest for additional comfort.  

Optimize your Eyewear

Since regular prescription lenses or glasses may not adequately meet your visual needs for lengthy computer use, you may benefit from wearing computer glasses. These prescription glasses are customized to your needs and also reduce glare and block blue light. 

 

You don’t have to live with the discomforts of eye strain. If symptoms persist, it may be time to visit Family Eye Professionals and get the relief you seek. Call our office to schedule a convenient eye doctor’s appointment.

 

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