In our modern society, screens are everywhere! From our televisions to our smart phones, we are inundated with screen time. For some of us, limiting screen time is difficult, especially if we have jobs that require computer work. For parents and caregivers, it can also be difficult to limit the time our children spend in front of a screen. Studies do show that too much screen time can be unhealthy for all of us.
Living in this high-tech society, one of the most common vision problems we see is called Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. This condition results from focusing the eye on a computer screen or other digital device like a tablet or computer for an extended period of time and without a break. If you or a loved one are spending too much time behind a screen, you may be experiencing symptoms to include eyestrain, headaches, fatigue, dry or watery eyes, blurred vision and lack of an ability to focus.
We all know that too much screen time strains our eyes. Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent CVS and the symptoms that go along with it.
- Try to 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 change of scenery.
- Keep blinking. Studies show that staring at a digital screen for long periods of time can cause one to stare. Try to regularly close your eyes to keep them lubricated. Over-the-counter eye drops can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.
- Adjust your screen and adjust your posture. Place your computer screen 20-26 inches away from your eyes and slightly below eye level. Also, position your screen away from any direct light source to minimize harsh glare. Try to also keep your screen clean and free of dust and make sure your desk chair is at an appropriate height to prevent you from hunching over.
- 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 comfortably.
CVS can happen due to too much screen time after work and watching Netfix at night, flipping through social media on your phone, and playing video games. Our eyes need rest, just like the rest of our body. It’s also important to set time limits for all of the kids in the family. At Vision for Life, we recommend that children or adults don’t engage in more than 60 minutes of screen time per day. Under the age of 6, we recommend no more than 30 minutes per day.
For children, minimizing screen time is extremely beneficial. Near work specific glasses are encouraged for video games to help ease any eye strain. Creative play is an important part of a child’s development at this age, so offering more “imaginative play time” that doesn’t involve tablets and TVs is an extremely valuable learning tool.
If you believe you are suffering with CVS, it is important to seek a professional diagnosis to rule out any unknown vision issues. Contact Vision for Life at 618-288-1489 for more information regarding CVS and to schedule your comprehensive vision evaluation. You can also learn more about us online at http://visionforlifeworks.com/.