Eye strain associated with 4 hours or more of digital device use
Digital device eye strain is the number one computer-related complaint in the workplace, according to a study, ahead of common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain.
Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford, an optometrist and provider with VSP Vision Care, said an increased reliance on digital devices, including computer monitors, smartphones and video game systems, is driving a rise in eye strain, fatigue and headaches. Computer vision syndrome, he said, is a serious condition that can have a major impact on employees' well-being, work productivity and learning capacity. According to a study by VSP Vision Care, eye-related strain can set in with as little as four hours spent in front of a digital device. American workers, however, spend an average of six hours each day in front of a digital device, which adds up to more than 200 billion hours a year.
According to recent research by VSP Vision Care, 33 percent of eye doctors reported that nearly one-third or more of their patients suffer from symptoms of computer vision syndrome or digital device-related vision problems. The most common symptoms, according to the study, include eye strain (82 percent), dry or irritated eyes (74 percent), fatigue (70 percent), and headaches (61 percent).
Bonilla-Warford recommended the following tips to help lessen the symptoms of computer-related eye strain:
- Blink often. When looking at a computer or handheld digital device, it's common to blink two to three times less than you normally would. This can lead to dry eye. Blinking bathes your eyes in tears, and tears are naturally therapeutic for the eyes.
- Follow the 20/20/20 rule. When spending long periods in front of a digital device, Bonilla-Warford said it is important that every 20 minutes, you spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away to allow your eyes to rest.
- Ensure proper workplace lighting. Poor lighting often causes eye strain. To help ease the strain on your eyes, keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum and position your desk lamp to shine on your desk, and not at you. Position your computer screen in a way that reduces reflections and glare from windows or overhead lights.
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October 4, 2010
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