McFarland Clinic

Digital Devices and Eye Strain: What to Avoid and What to Do

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October 11, 2017

Computer Eye Strain

The average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer either at the office or at home. Add to that time spent with cell phones, tablets and e-readers and you can experience a range of eye and vision-related problems--what the American Optometric Association refers to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain.

Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain

The most common symptoms of CVS are:

  • eyestrain
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • dry eyes
  • neck and shoulder pain

While many of these symptoms are temporary and decline after stopping the use of digital devices, some people may experience continued problems with their eyesight. These symptoms can recur and worsen with further digital screen use. Get an eye exam at your nearest McFarland Eye Center if you are experiencing these symptoms.

What to Do About Computer Vision Syndrome

If you are experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, there are actions you can take to reduce the effects. These include:

Eliminate Glare

Use eyeglasses with anti-reflective coating, or eliminate glare by rearranging furniture, adding blinds to windows or using a glare reduction screen.

Computer Glasses

Single vision lenses or office lenses are the most effective types of lenses for viewing digital screens. Talk to a McFarland Eye Center ophthalmologist or optometrist about which type of lens may be more effective for you.

Adjust Your Work Area

Adjust your computer screen as follows:

  • The screen should be directly in front of you.
  • The middle of the screen should be about 4 inches below eye level.
  • The screen should be tilted up toward you about 10 to 20 degrees.
  • The screen should be 16 to 30 inches from your eyes.
  • Move the screen closer or further away to help you focus more comfortably.

Give Your Eyes a Break

For every 15 minutes of computer work, close your eyes for 5 to 15 seconds.

Use Eye Drops

A bottle of artificial tears can lubricate your eyes and help alleviate burning, itching and watering eyes.

More Information

For more information about Computer Vision Syndrome and how to avoid it, visit your nearest McFarland Eye Center and read these resources:

American Optometric Association: Computer Vision Syndrome Computer Glasses

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