President's Prescription: Computer Vision Syndrome - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: The Eyes Have It…Computer Vision Syndrome

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We all stare at some kind of screen for countless of hours a day. Whether it is a computer, cell phone or e-reader, technology has changed the way we do everything from work, study and play. But with all of this great technology, our eyes may be paying a price.

Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for uninterrupted periods of time. Viewing a computer screen makes your eyes work harder. Add the glare and reflections on the screen to the mix, and all these make focusing for long periods of time difficult on your eyes, causing eye fatigue.

Symptoms can include blurred vision, redness in the eyes, eyestrain, dry eyes, irritated eyes and double vision or trouble refocusing. Keep in mind CVS can be the culprit behind other health issues such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain and also a sense of exhaustion.

Typically a person blinks 15 times a minute. When staring at a screen, we decrease our blinking to about twice a minute, causing eye problems. When using a computer, make an effort to blink frequently. Blinking keeps the front surface of your eye moist.

CVS can be prevented or reduced by positioning your computer screen to avoid glare, minimize glare from light with a screen glare filter or asking your eye doctor about special lenses for your glasses.

One of the most important things you can do is to give your eyes a break. To prevent eyestrain, do not use your computer for long periods. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. The American Optometric Association says for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.

Remember, you may not wear glasses and still suffer from CVS. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, see an eye doctor for an exam and ask about computer glasses. For the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell and this is the President's Prescription.

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