If you work in an office and experience fuzzy vision, eye strain, headaches, or dry, burning eyes, then you may have computer vision syndrome. CVS results when you focus your eyes on a computer screen for long periods of time. It affects as many as 93% of people who regularly put in protracted stretches working at a computer.
That’s a lot of sore, achy eyeballs.
Computer vision syndrome can be caused or aggravated by a number of factors:
- poor lighting
- glare on your computer screen
- poor seating posture
- air moving past your eyes (from overhead vents, air from a fan, etc.)
Obviously, reversing or otherwise addressing these issues can help resolve the problem, but you can take other measures as well. Jennifer Andrews, a Seattle-based optometrist, offers these self-care tips:
- over-the-counter eye drops for immediate relief of dry, burning, itchy eyes
- fish oil and other foods and supplements that are high in omege 3 oils for ongoing nutritional support
- eyelid cleansers (OCuSOFT pads, e.g.) to mechanically remove irritants
The American Optometric Association suggests blinking regularly to naturally clean your eyes and recommends the 20-20-20 rest break: every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Some people need professional care for their CVS, like new eyeglasses or contact lenses and/or vision therapy. You should consult an optometrist if you have any of these symptoms:
- eye strain
- blurred vision
- neck and shoulder pain
- redness in the eyes
- dry, irritated eyes
- burning & stinging
- double vision
- difficulty refocusing the eyes