COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME -IS YOUR COMPUTER GIVING YOU HEADACHES?
If you or a family member are having problems with eyestrain on the computer you are not alone-
- Over 10 million workers seek professional eye care every year due to Computer Vision Syndrome.
- The cost in lost productivity probably runs in excess of 15 billion dollars per year.
- The number one health complaint of computer users at work is eyestrain, and the average worker is now spending 6 hours per day on a computer at work (not counting the time they spend online at home). The incidence of Computer Vision Syndrome has been reported to be 50-90%. If you spend 2-3 hours or more working on a computer it is likely you have or will develop Computer Vision Syndrome at some point in your career.
- According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2010 youth are now spending seven and a half hours every day using computers, smart phones, electronic devices or television.
YOU MAY HAVE COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WHILE WORKING ON YOUR COMPUTER-
- Eyestrain, eye fatigue, tired eyes, eye pain
- Headaches, eye aches, aches in temples and behind the eyes
- Burning, tearing, dryness, feeling like something is in the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Frequent loss of place while reading
- Fatigue and feeling tired after spending time on the computer
- Red eyes after working on the computer
WHY DO YOU EXPERIENCE THESE SYMPTOMS?
Many different problems can cause Computer Vision Syndrome. Problems may exist in your binocular vision skills, or how your two eyes work together. There can be issues with focusing, dryness, uncorrected astigmatism, 3D Vision skills and visual ergonomics to name a few. We can help by customizing lens prescriptions, offering workplace suggestions, and improving your visual skills through an individualized training program.
TIPS FOR WORK
- Every 20 minutes look far away then close 10 times
- Stand and walk, even briefly, every hour to break physical and visual posture locks
- Dim any lights above or to the side that are casting glare onto your screen
- Make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date and includes an anti-glare coating
- If you are over the age of 40 consider using special computer progressive multifocal lenses while in the office
- Drop your monitor down 20 degrees below eye level (reduces the amount of your eye surface that is subject to drying out while using a computer)
TIPS FOR PREVENTING COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME IN KIDS
- Schedule an annual eye exam for your children before school starts and keep even minor prescription changes up to date.
- Kids are frequently not good at expressing what symptoms they may be experiencing; it is up to you to observe them for any signs of squinting, abnormal blinking, rubbing their eyes, massaging their temples, and shortened attention spans while working or playing on the computer.
- As best you can (yes we have had kids too!) try to make sure there is a reasonable contrast between the monitor and the room illumination. A 3 to 1 ratio is suggested. Practically speaking this means a computer monitor in a dark room is more likely to create eyestrain just as a window behind a monitor is also likely to cause problems.
- Disturb them every once in a while so they don’t spend hours without looking up or moving around. After all, they interrupt you repeatedly. Bring them snacks, run a vacuum cleaner through the middle of the floor, turn up your own music too loud- take it as a creative challenge.
- Lock them outside for a while- studies have shown a positive correlation between spending 15-20 hours outdoors each week and a lessened incidence of nearsightedness. No one is quite sure why yet.
- There probably is some truth to physical posture being problematic for the eyes (and vice versa). Good posture for a child means being seated with two feet on the floor without unusual curvature in the spine. Lowering the head to stare at a monitor will put stress on the cervical spine. For reading and cell phones kids should be no closer than the distance from the knuckle to the elbow. Computer distance is a little farther, often at about arms length. If they any closer than knuckle to elbow distance, eyestrain and other symptoms will often occur. Next time you catch your kids slouched in front of the computer, all I can say is “good luck”. Maybe they will sit up for pizza.
DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS OF COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME! IT CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR CAREER OR YOUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION
It is not just the computer that is challenging your families eyes. The average worker in the US spends over 6 hours per day on the computer at work, then more times at home. This does not include time spent on a cell phone, a tablet or other electronic devices with digital displays. The average youth spends over 7 hours per day on computers, cell phones, tablets, video games and television. We are in uncharted territory in terms of the long term effects on vision. It is vital to them to have comfortable efficient vision for learning.
CALL TODAY TODAY FOR A FREE 10 POINT SCREENING FOR COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME
PS: I AM AWAY FOR SEPTEMBER 26 THROUGH 28TH ATTENDING A SEMINAR ON VISUALIZATION AS IT RELATES TO LEARNING AND ORGANIZING. VISUALIZATION CAN BE USEFUL IN RELAXING FOCUSING SPASM’S THAT SOMETIMES ACCOMPANY COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME. I WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE FOR EMERGENCIES AFTER HOURS
PPS: I had an opportunity to meet John Maxwell, the number one leadership expert in the world earlier this year- what an inspiring guy! Hope to use some of his suggestions to improve our practice for you!