Do you ever find yourself staring at your computer screen for hours on end?
Does your head ache or do your eyes feel just plain tired as you respond to all of those work e-mails on a busy Monday morning?
Have you ever noticed that your eyes are dry as a dessert or super irritated when you finally pull yourself out of a YouTube rabbit hole?
(The Try Guys pull me in and Game Theory makes me stay… every flipping time!)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be dealing with Computer Vision Syndrome.
And even if you didn’t find yourself nodding along… if you spend any extended period of time staring at a computer, phone or tablet (i.e. if you exist in 2018) Computer Vision Syndrome can still be a concern.
But there is hope! We can easily kick Computer Vision Syndrome right in it’s mean little butt.
So let’s talk about it! Here are 6 Easy Ways To Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome. Oh, and there’s a free, helpful infographic waiting for you too. Because self-care should be simple and fun!
Before We Get started
Computer Vision Syndrome can affect anyone who spends any time staring at a screen. And I think that’s pretty well most of us these days. At the very least, you and I are super candidates. Look at us right now, staring away at this article!
But the good news is that there are lots of ways to avoid or reduce the damage caused Computer Vision Syndromes. And I’m here to empower you to do just that.
We’ve got a lot to unravel today!
But don’t feel overwhelmed. Because I’ve got an inforgraphic for you from Quill that puts everything into a nice, bite sized packaged. Yahoo!
Feel free to pin it or save it for later so you always have the knowledge you need to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome readily available.
Ready to dive in?
Why Should We Care About Computer Vision Syndrome?
I’m sure this is a “Hello Captain Obvious” moment, but as a blogger I spent a ton of time staring at a screen. I mean, you can’t really maintain a website without it! But I know that isn’t the best for my eye health.
And I also know that I’m totally not the only one who spends a lot of time with my computer. In fact, I’m fairly confident that you’re reading this on a screen right now!
Unless I’ve somehow ended up in print media… but I think I’d know it if that happened, right? Now I’m feeling paranoid! Am I published and I don’t even know it?!
Back to talking about vision health…
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is something that can affect all of us!
In fact, Computer vision syndrome:
- Causes approximately 10 million Americans to visit their eye doctor every year (source)
- Affects 50 to 90% of computer users (source)
- Is more common in adults Under 30 (source)
And things like this increase your risk of developing CVS:
- Looking at images and text that are too small
- viewing unclear or flickering images
- Having a glare or reflection on your screen
- Sitting too close or too far away from your screen
- Working under lights that are too bright
- Looking at your computer for extended periods of time without breaks
- Being in a stressful environment
A few of those definitely apply to me! Are you in the same boat?
While this all might sound like no big deal so far, the symptoms can be frustrating at best and down right painful at worst!
These are the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome:
- Dry, Irritated Eyes
- Blurred Vision
- Eye Fatigue
- Neck and Back Pain
And a ton of screen time can even increase our risk of developing other vision related issues. Especially when we’re younger.
According to Dr. Rohit Varma an ophthalmologist who practices at the USC Roski Eye Institute, part of the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California:
“Kids are spending much more time doing indoor activities with their cellphones, iPads, computers, and so on. Especially when children are young, when they play these games indoors where they’re seeing things very close to them and doing it in low-light level — that combination of doing near activities in low light is what contributes to these children becoming very nearsighted” (source)
I don’t know about you, but I’m super not interested in any of the symptoms. Don’t sign me up! And I feel like I can safely assume that you feel the so way.
So let’s talk about how we can protect our vision.
6 Easy Ways To Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome
1. Create a Healthy Diet
You are what you eat, and your eye health is part of that friends. Eating well can support your overall vision health, which is pretty flipping awesome!
According to the smarties at Harvard, when it comes to protecting those gorgeous eyes of yours you want to look out for specific nutrients. (source)
Let’s take a peek at the best nutrients for eye health:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamins A, C and E
Where exactly can you find those nutrients?
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Flaxseed Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Hemp Seed Oil
- Cantaloupe (raw)
- Red Peppers (Raw)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Peanut Butter
- Sunflower Seeds
- Wheat Germ
- Sesame Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t you love it when eating is the answer? This super foodie certainly does. And look at all of those delicious options! I’m picturing an awesome stir fry right now… yum! Did this list inspire you to make something?
2. Change The Lighting
Adjusting the lighting might seem simple, but it can have a powerful affect on your eyes. And kick Computer Vision Syndrome right in the butt! So let’s adjust things, shall we?
You can control natural light with curtains or blinds. And try not to place your computer directly below a light source. Also, let’s move our computers so they aren’t directly in front of or behind a window. Because glare is the worst!
It’s also possible to adjust the brightness on our devices. How do you know if you need to make an adjustment?
According to All About Vision you can figure it out by looking at a white background on a web page. Good news is that I have plenty of that right here for ya!
If the white is so bright that it looks like a light, turn that brightness down! If it seems dull and gray you might need to make things a little brighter. It’s like finding the Goldilocks zone. We want our brightness to be just right!
3. Prevent Dry Eyes
You want to keep those pretty peepers moist! And when you plan on spending a lot of time on a screen, you should definitely do what you can to prevent any dryness.
Make an effort to blink while you work (or scroll) away on that screen. We tend to neglect this when we’re on our devices. And when we don’t blink our tears evaporate faster, leaving our poor eyes super dry. (source)
If you wear contact lenses, know that you have a higher risk of developing dry eyes during or after computer use. Have artificial tears ready just in case. (source)
And make sure that your computer is situated just right. Lowering your monitor allows your eyelids to cover more of those precious eye balls, preventing some of that dryness. Booyah!
4. Take A Break
Slow down hot stuff! I get it, when I’m in the zone I don’t want to stop until I get it done! But that isn’t good for us (for many, many reasons).
Give your eyes a break so you can try and avoid that pesky Computer Vision Syndrome.
Try this: for every 2 hours of screen time, give yourself 15 minutes of you time. But please don’t take this as an opportunity to jump on your phone. Bouncing from one screen to the other isn’t helping any of us!
There’s also something called the 20/20/20 rule that optometrists recommend.
For every 20 minutes of screen time look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Boom! Those eyes had a minute break and they can get back to business. Love it! (source)
5. Do Eye Exercises
Ah, girl look at those peepers. Ahh girl look at those peepers. Ahhh girl look at those peepers.
I work out!
When I look up from my phone (yeah), this is what I see (OK)
The dryness clears up and I’m blinking finally
I’ve got a project on that screen but right now it’s time for breaking, breaking breaking
I’m blinking and it’s helping!
I told you guys I was a dork! But in all seriousness, eye exercises can really help. And play right into taking a break from your screen. Total win!
There are different options, like palming (which involves covering those eyes with your palms), eye rolls and focus changes (think of that “follow my finger” exercise). And they’re all on the infographic below!
These are simple tools that can help to keep your eyes moist and happy. Which in turn may prevent those icky Computer Vision Syndrome symptoms. And hey, if it reminds you to take a break then it’s all gain!
6. Get Regular Checkups
Checking in with your eye doctor on the regular is an awesome way to protect your eye health in general! And if you’re experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome you can talk to them about your concerns. They may have some powerful advice to offer.
At the end of the day, they’re the best people to trust with your eye health. Because they know what they’re doing yo! So go give them a visit for your regular check up and keep those eyes healthy and happy!
Medical care is self-care friends.
Computer Vision Syndrome Infographic
I promised you a nice, bite sized infographic and I’m gonna deliver! Here you go loves. Everything in a nutshell.
Isn’t it nice to know that a few simple (and even delicious) activities can help to keep our eyes happy? I’m pretty stoked!
Self-care is about so much more than bubble baths and face masks. I mean, it’s totally about that too. But it’s also about visiting the doctor, being aware of how your actions affect your health and responding to that with care and kindness.
And for us screen junkies self-care also means taking breaks from our computers and phones, doing eye exercises, eating vision healthy foods and getting our eyes checked.
We are biological creatures, which ultimately means that sometimes we will get sick. And that’s ok! But when we take care of ourselves we are being proactive, preventing certain illnesses and reducing the strength of others.
And we’re forming a pretty powerful bond with ourselves while we’re at it! Isn’t that wonderful?
Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome? What advice would you add to the list? Just learning about CVS today? Do you plan on trying any of these activities to prevent it? Share your thoughts with us in the comment below!
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Prevention is the best medicine; honour yourself and take action when you can.
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