Our patients are increasingly dealing with Computer Vision Syndrome at an alarmingly fast rate.
It seems that computers have invaded every aspect of our lives. We have become dependent on smartphones for personal and professional use. Our success seems to depend on our almost continuous availability by phone, text, and email. When we’re not using our smartphones, we’re on our tablets or our computers. When we get home, following a daily regimen of digital devices, we’re watching television and using our computers for pleasure or to continue our work brought home from the office. Life certainly has evolved over the past 30 years to a time when we are entirely cyber-dependent.
The chief complaint for office visits this month has been – “eye strain”. Therefore, we felt compelled to share this spectacular article by Dr Stephanie Wu. Please take the time to read this well-written document entirely. Thank you!
Stephanie Wu, MD | peer reviewed | Clinical Correlations, January 2022
The following are excerpts from a peer review article from Dr. Stephanie E Wu, a physician resident, internal medicine, NYU Langone Health discussing CSV. To read the full peer review, visit: Computer Vision Syndrome: A Growing Issue in a Digital World – Clinical Correlations
- As we continue to use electronic devices on a frequent basis, it can be valuable to know preventive measures and treatments for CVS. Correcting refractive errors from myopia and presbyopia will increase visual acuity and ensure that retinal images are focused appropriately . In order to minimize awkward head positioning and neck pain, ophthalmologists can determine an individuals’ optimal computer working distance and prescribe occupational bifocals specifically for computer use and reading. Dry eye and eye strain can be relieved by lowering the monitor so that the middle of the screen is approximately 5 to 6 inches below eye level, blinking more often during digital device use, and taking more frequent breaks during long work periods . These regular breaks during electronic device use will relax the ocular accommodative system and minimize visual fatigue.
- The American Optometric Association recommends resting your eyes for 15 minutes after 2 hours of continuous computer use . Moreover, the “20-20-20 break” may be helpful for those who frequently have dry eyes. With this break, one looks at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of digital device use [1,2]. Other simple steps to manage CVS-related symptoms include increasing text size and adjusting the contrast ratio to make text easier to read, positioning the electronic screen to minimize glare, and avoiding excessive brightness around the screen and aiming instead for “equalized brightness throughout the visual field” .