If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. After a few hours in front of the screen, your eyes might begin to start feeling dry or tired. Your vision may become a little fuzzy. In addition, you may begin to experience aches in your head, neck, and shoulder. These are the symptoms of computer eye strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
What causes computer eyestrain? Normally we blink our eyes about 15-20 times a minute. Blinking spreads tears across the eyes. Blinking 15-20 times a minute keeps our eyes adequately lubricated and moist.
When you’re staring at a computer screen, your eyes blink at about half that rate. This allows your eyes to become dry and irritated. In addition, the contrast of text against a background, the glare from the screen, and flickering screens can be hard on the eyes.
Protecting Your Eyes From Computer Eye Strain
The good news is you don’t have to cut down on screen time in order to avoid Computer Vision Syndrome. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid discomfort:
- Keep your screen about 25 inches away (about arm’s length) from your eyes. The center of the screen should be situated about 10-15 degrees below eye level.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of screen time, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. In addition, you should take a 15-minute break after every two hours of screen time.
- To reduce glare, make sure room lighting is at least as bright as the screen’s light. You can also use a matte screen filter to cut down on glare.
- Use artificial tears if your eyes begin to feel dry.
- You can wear a pair of computer reading glasses.
What are Computer Reading Glasses?
Normal reading glasses are most effective at a distance of fewer than 18 inches. Since your eyes need to be at least 20 inches away from the computer screen, normal reading glasses may not provide protection against computer eye strain. Computer glasses are reading glasses specially designed for computer use.
What makes computer reading glasses so effective at preventing eye strain? The lenses of computer glasses often feature a tint or a special coating that filters the irritating light coming from a computer screen. Both magnified and unmagnified computer reading glasses are available.
Computer Reading Glasses From the Berkeley Eye Center
At the Berkeley Eye Center, we realize the important role computers play in the professional and personal lives of our patients. Reducing screen time isn’t always an option. That’s why we offer a wide assortment of computer eyewear from leading manufacturers like GUNNAR and Essilor to reduce the effects of CVS.
To provide the best protection against the damaging effects of computer eye strain, we recommend that you have a regular comprehensive eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam catches potential eye and vision problems in their earliest and most treatable stages.
The Berkeley Eye Center has been protecting the vision of our Houston patients for over 50 years. If you’re being bothered by computer eye strain or other vision problems, schedule your eye exam now. We have locations all over the Houston area and surrounding communities.