On average, Americans have their eyes fixed on a digital screen for about 7 hours per day. And while screen time has its perks, from a productive workday to connecting with friends, it can wreak havoc on your eyes.


You don’t have to give up screens to protect your eyes, thankfully. With some smart habits and treatment, if needed, you can pave the way to a healthier future.


At our office in Riverside, California, Dr. Richard Bozner and his team are pleased to treat computer vision syndrome (CVS). We also offer preventive care to help you avoid it in the first place.


Let’s explore CVS, including what it entails and ways to lower your odds.


The basics of computer vision syndrome


Computer vision syndrome describes eye problems that stem from environmental factors and poor habits involving screen use.


When you spend a great deal of time staring at a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you run the risk of CVS symptoms, such as:

  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Itchy or irritated eyes

Computer vision syndrome symptoms often coincide with non-vision-specific issues too, such as back and neck aches, headaches, and muscle fatigue — around your eyes and elsewhere.


How to prevent computer vision syndrome


While CVS isn’t known to cause permanent damage to your eyes, its symptoms can interfere with everything from your moods and energy levels to your work productivity.


If you’d like to stave off these screen-related problems, consider these tips:


Check your lighting


To reduce glare, close window shades, change screen brightness, or attach a filter or hood to your monitor.


Position your screen properly


Keep your screen 20-26 inches (about arm’s length) away. It should be straight in front of your face, with the center of a computer monitor about 4-8 inches lower than your eyes. Also, place any reference materials you’re using as close to the screen as possible.


Give your eyes a break


In addition to practicing good posture, give your eyes (and muscles) a chance to relax by taking occasional breaks. And if getting up from your desk isn’t possible, give your eyes mini-breaks by looking up from the computer and focusing on a distant object every 20 minutes or so.


Check your prescription


Importantly, make sure that any eyeglasses or contact lenses you wear have a suitable fit and prescription. CVS is much more common among those who rely on corrective lenses, and the right option is important for lowering your risk.


When you see your Dr. Bozner’s Vision Lab Optometry provider for an exam, we can discuss your computer and device use to meet your needs and preferences.


Even if you don’t need corrective lenses in general, you may benefit from wearing glasses while using a computer. In other words, comprehensive eye exams are important for most everyone — especially if you’ve noticed bothersome symptoms like eyestrain.


To learn more about computer vision syndrome or get the eye care you need, call Dr. Bozner’s Vision Lab Optometry today.

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