Pres Rx: Eye-strain

Pres Rx: Eye-strain

Do you ever feel like a zombie after staring at your computer screen for hours on end? Although your dry, red eyes don't necessarily make you the newest member of the Walking Dead, they could mean you're experiencing what's called computer vision syndrome. This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell talks about steps you and your school-age children can take to avoid eye fatigue.

Going back to school not only means kids will be hitting the books — they'll be hitting the computer or electronic tablet as well. And while studying is essential to success in the classroom, too much time in front of the computer could mean trouble.

Eyestrain, which is also sometimes known as computer vision syndrome, affects about 50 to 90 percent of computer workers, according to WebMD. Some researchers estimate computer-related eye symptoms may be responsible for up to 10 million primary care eye examinations each year.

Eyestrain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, like driving for extended periods, reading or continuously scrolling on a smart phone. Symptoms may include, sore, tired, burning or itching eyes, blurred vision, headache and increased sensitivity to light.

Here are some tips to avoid eyestrain:

Wear sunglasses with UV protection.

Give your eyes a break every half-hour or so, especially if you spend a lot of time doing close-up activities (reading, sewing, computer work). Ditto for those focusing on distant objects, like when driving.

Blink, blink, blink. It helps prevent loss of fluid, protects the sensitive eye tissue and removes specks of matter in the eye.

Eyestrain usually isn't serious, but it can occasionally be an indication of an underlying problem. If you still experience symptoms after a good amount of rest, make an appointment with your eye doctor. For maintaining good health, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell.