On average, Americans spend 7 hours, 4 minutes staring at a digital screen each day. And while that time can help you cultivate a career, find community, or keep up with faraway friends, your eyes could pay a hefty price.


If you notice irritating symptoms flaring up in tandem with your screen time, you may have computer vision syndrome (CVS).


At our optometry office in Riverside, California, Dr. Richard Bozner and his expert team provide computer vision syndrome treatment to improve your well-being and quality of life.


Computer vision syndrome symptoms


Computer vision syndrome affects people differently, but common signs include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches, backaches, and neck pain
  • Muscle fatigue

Your eyes may also feel tired, especially during or after using a smartphone, tablet, or computer at length. You might even feel you need to don sunglasses indoors due to light sensitivity.


How to prevent computer vision syndrome


Computer vision syndrome isn’t known to cause long-term damage, thankfully, but that doesn’t make the symptoms more bearable. In fact, CVS symptoms tend to intensify over time.


To reverse or prevent your screen-related eye strain, consider these practices:


1. Wear and care for your glasses and contact lenses properly


Around 70% of people prone to computer vision syndrome wear eyeglasses or contacts for vision correction. The same people report more eye and body pain than those who don’t need corrective devices.


In other words, impaired vision increases your risk of CVS. Your lenses or frames may even play a role in your symptoms.


Glasses that sit properly on your face help keep the optical center of each lens in an ideal place, staving off CVS. The right fit is especially important if you use bifocals or progressive lenses to see clearly.


Our team can help ensure your lenses fit and guide you through helpful practices, such as replacing damaged or worn-out contacts, to reduce eye strain.


2. Take screen breaks


The longer your eyes are fixed on a digital screen, the more likely computer vision syndrome becomes. To prevent or reduce digital eye strain, the American Optometric Association recommends the 20-20-20 rule.


Every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something about 20 feet away. Also, try looking around your surroundings or blinking several times in a row periodically.


3. Treat your dry eyes


If you already have dry eyes, screen time almost certainly worsens matters while inviting additional CVS symptoms. An appropriate humidifier or quality eye drops may suffice, especially if you live or work in a dry environment.


Staying hydrated by consuming enough hydrating fare, like water and fresh fruits and vegetables, promotes natural eye moisture. Colorful produce also provides antioxidants that keep eyes healthy and lubricated.


For chronic dry eyes, we offer in-office procedures, including BlephEx®, MiBo Thermoflo, and OptiLight IPL®, and Tyrvaya®, a nasal spray treatment for dry eye disease.


4. Improve your posture


Sitting slumped at your desk or hunched over your tablet might seem comfortable initially. Over time, though, such a posture can fuel chronic pain and eye strain. Keep your screens at eye level so you can keep your gaze straight ahead versus looking downward.


Meanwhile, keep your back straight and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Using adjustable or ergonomic equipment can make good computer posture easier.


When lifestyle measures fail to help your CVS symptoms, it’s time for a comprehensive eye exam. To learn more about computer vision syndrome or get the personalized eye care you need, call Dr. Bozner’s Vision Lab Optometry today.

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