March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, a month dedicated to promoting proper eye safety and care in the workplace. When people think of work-related eye injuries, they often think of construction, landscaping or factory workers being the most at risk; however, in our high-tech society, one of the most common vision problems is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer screen or other digital device, such as a smartphone or tablet for extended, uninterrupted periods of time.
If you work in an office, chances are you spend a significant amount of your workday behind a computer screen. Too much screen time can put a strain on your eyes, causing them to feel irritated and fatigued. In recognition of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, here are some simple tips for preventing CVS:
- Reposition your screen and adjust your posture. Place your computer screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and slightly below eye level. Also, position your screen away from any direct light source so that there is no harsh glare. Make sure your screen is clean and free of dust and your desk chair is at an appropriate height to prevent you from hunching over.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break and look at an object at least 20 feet away from you. To enforce this simple rule, try leaving your desk and taking a quick stroll around the office, giving your eyes a break and a refreshing change of scenery.
- Don’t forget to blink. Studies have shown that staring at a digital screen for long periods of time causes one to stare. Remember to regularly close your eyes to keep them moist and lubricated. Over-the-counter eye drops can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.
- Adjust the size of text on your screen or zoom in. Your computer’s text size should be big enough for you to read and focus on comfortably.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and find yourself constantly behind a computer screen, you may be suffering with CVS:
- Dry, watery, burning or red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Inability to focus
In today’s technology driven world, the threat of CVS does not simply stop when you clock out at work; people then go home and unwind while watching TV or playing a game on their tablet. Even when we crawl into bed, many of us binge watch Netflix or scroll endlessly through Facebook or Twitter on our smart phones. In so many ways, we focus on our overall health but fail to give our eyes the rest and proper care they need. To avoid CVS, practice proper eye care and limit screen time in the office and when you get home after a long day of work.
If you believe you are suffering with CVS, it is important to seek a professional diagnosis to rule out any unknown vision issues. Contact us today at 618-288-1489 for more information regarding CVS and to schedule your comprehensive vision evaluation.