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Squinting at computer, tablet, or mobile screens for hours at a time is a normal part of our lives in the 21st century. Unfortunately, eye problems associated with this activity are also on the rise. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed computer vision syndrome symptoms after two or more hours of screen time. Signs include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain and discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Dry, scratchy eyes
  • Neck and/or shoulder pain
  • Trouble seeing far away after 

Even if your symptoms are mild, they can worsen and cause other vision problems if not addressed. 

Many regular eyeglasses and contact lenses are not designed to deflect the problems caused by computer screens. Progressives lenses let you see the computer, but the area designed for that working distance is small and you will have to turn and lift your head to point the correct area of the lens at your screen causing neck and eye strain.  Advanced lens designs for "computer" glasses are available for every frame.  There are different lens designs for short, intermediate and long working distances.  High tech, computer-specific coatings such as Crizal Prevencia are available to stop the over stimulating blue light that can affect your sleep while still allowing the good blue light to filter through.

. In addition to these options, there are many things we can suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems:

  • Computer setup—Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated between 20-28 inches away from the screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between the monitor and keyboard, or to the side, but positioned for as little head movement as possible. Also invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to help reduce glare from surrounding lights. Be sure to sit and work with proper posture.
  • Adjust Lighting—If you can, re-position any lighting (or your computer) to minimize glare and use natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Eye Rest and Blinking Breaks—Every 20 minutes during your work, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes, and give them a 15-minute break after each 2-hour computer session. Also remember to blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.

With a combination of the proper optometry care and self-care, you can minimize computer eye syndrome and other modern-day vision problems. 

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