Computer Vision Syndrome. Yes, It’s A Thing.

Computer Vision Syndrome. Yes, It’s A Thing.

Today is undeniably the technological age, but what is it really doing to our eyes?

iPods, iPads and tablets, oh my. It’s enough to give you a pain in the eye! Literally. But it doesn’t have to.

 

Today is undeniably the technological age, but what is it really doing to our eyes?

With a swipe of a button we can be in touch with people around the world, we can check the weather in Las Vegas and we can online game with people we have never met. We can Google the latest celebrity news and even buy the latest fashion straight from New York Fashion Week. Right now. No waiting.

But with all this convenience, have you ever wondered if these devices are having any impact on our eyes and our vision? Will our children grow to develop vision problems when they are older as a result of too much screen time?

The verdict is in, and yes, computer and tablet use can definitely strain our eyes. But there are ways to combat the damage.

“We definitely see a lot of people who complain of eyestrain,” Outlook Eye Centre’s optometrist Shannon Smith said. “Hours upon hours of close focussing without taking a break is usually the main culprit.”

She said the problem is so common, there’s even a name for it: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Yes, this is a real thing. Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.

Shannon said with prolonged use of computers and tablets and kindles our eyes are required to continually shift and change focus to adapt to the changes in the screen image. This causes fatigue faster than would normally occur when simply reading from books or printed media.

With time, the focussing of our eyes can get stuck in this position and occasionally distance vision may become blurry as a result of excessive close work.

Another problem is the glare that is given off not only by the computer itself but also from the lights that can be reflected off the screens. This brightness will cause irritation, strain and fatigue to the eyes.

Because we blink less often when we are concentrating – particularly when on a computer - eyes tend to become dry and can cause irritation and blur. So take breaks often (and tell your boss it’s for the health of your eyes!)

“Our eyes are just not designed to be used at that close distance for a long period of time,” Shannon said. “Remember the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds and look 20 metres away.”

So, instead of turning a blind eye to the damage computers are doing to your eyes, there are a few tips and tricks to reducing eyestrain triggers from CVS:

  • Make sure when you use an iPad or tablet that you are in a well lit room away from too much sunlight
  • Try and have a break every 20 minutes; look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds out across the room; relax your shoulders and your neck
  • Make sure children spend time outside and minimise the amount of time that is spent in front of electronic devices
  • Make sure that you don’t hold the iPad too close
  • And blink more!


And get your eyes tested regularly. Especially your children’s and visit us here at Outlook Eye Centre in Toowoomba.

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