Eye strain and CVS
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
In today’s digital world, it is easy to get accustomed to staring at monitor screens for long periods of time. Although staring at computer screens is by no means equivalent to staring directly at the sun with the naked eye, there are many negative consequences with prolonged computer use.
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) broadly describes the types of pains and strains people get from staring at monitors for long periods of time. Symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, dry and red eyes, headaches, muscle spasms around eyelids, and neck or back pain. These symptoms, though not permanently damaging to your eyesight, can reduce a person’s effectiveness behind the computer screen because their eye coordination is thrown off. It affects people who work in offices, students who do a lot of online research, and gamers.
First and foremost, do as I say and not as I do. As I type this article out, my laptop screen is blindingly white compared to the rest of my room, and I am hunched over with my face a few inches from the screen. It turns out, you can stare facts straight in the face and still ignore them completely.
So, what exactly causes CVS? Poor lighting, glares on digital screens, sitting too close to your monitor, poor posture, and having uncorrected vision problems all play a role in causing CVS. The good news is that most of these causes are pretty preventable. Minor adjustments to your daily routine can possibly be enough to curb these pesky symptoms for good.
CVS can also be caused by forgetting to blink, which generally affects gamers more than office workers and the average computer user. The 20-20-20 rule should help get your eyes blinking again. The rule states that for every 20 minutes of computer use, you should stare off at a 20-foot distance for at least 20 seconds. If that won’t work when you’re playing an intense story mission or are about to beat someone online and can’t afford those precious 20 seconds of gaming, you might want to look into computer glasses.
These glasses promise to reduce screen glare, if tinted, and are semi-magnified to help you see the screen clearer. I’d suggest visiting your local optometrist rather than buying a pair off of Amazon because you might be in for quite the surprise when a pair of everyday sunglasses show up at your door.
Finally, probably the easiest and best solution to dealing with or preventing CVS is to remember to take breaks. Not only will this help your eye strain, but it’s just good for you in general.