How (Over)use of Tech Affects Our Sight

Many of us spend countless hours a day looking at computers, smartphones, and television screens. This comes at some cost to our eyes.

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a legitimate illness. It’s caused by spending too much time in front of all of these screens. The most common afflictions are dry-eyes and eye-strain. There are things you can do to minimize the damage if it’s not already too late.

Table of Contents

What Are the Issues?

CVS isn’t one problem. It’s several of them, all to do with eye strain or damage due to the overuse of tech. Research conducted indicated that 50-90% of people who work in front of computers all day will have one or more of these issues.

Dry Eyes

Staring at a screen for an extended period of time causes you to forget to do one vitally important thing, blink. On average, a human blinks 11,500 times a day (around 8 times every minute) unless they’re fixated on something. 

With an excessive smartphone or computer use, this rate drops to less than half of that. The eye needs to blink to re-establish the tear film on the cornea. This is a thin layer of liquid that protects the surface. If this doesn’t get replaced, then they dry out, causing discomfort and blurred vision.

Eye Strain

There are a number of causes of eye strain caused by too much screen time. Focusing too intently, getting closer to the monitor or phone than you should, and the electronic brightness and glare are all reasons this can result. 

Researchers believe that because text and images are made from pixels, they already have blurry edges, making them hard to focus on. Not having glasses, or the incorrect prescription also contribute to this problem.

Vision headaches are also a common side-effect of these issues. It’s vital to take steps to alleviate them, and there are preventative measures you can take.

Eye Strain

Preventative Measures

It’s not too late. There are things you can do to prevent too much extra damage to your eyes.

Look Away

It might sound like common sense, but the easiest way to solve this problem is to schedule regular time away from the screen. Scientists recommend that every hour or less, you need to look away from the monitor. 

Spend at least one minute staring at something in the distance. This will help to reset your vision, so that you can return to what you were doing, but providing some interim relief.

Adjust Your Workstation

To avoid damage to their necks and spines, many workers have ergonomic chairs and desks. You also need to ensure your work area is kind to your vision too.  Some things you can do:

  • Your computer monitor needs to be set slightly lower than eye level — four to eight inches is a good range
  • Use a matte screen filter (Cost around $10) to reduce glare
  • Set your office chair so that you are about 2 feet away from the monitor
  • Consider increasing the font size, so you’re not straining to read it

My Eyes Are Damaged, Now What?

Your eyes are damaged from too much screen-time, and you’re not alone. You can treat dry-eyes and headaches with drops and aspirin. Getting glasses or adjusting your current prescription can also help.

The sad truth is that there’s not much that you can do to repair the problem. Based on your age, laser surgery might be an option; however, in time, this too will expire.

You’re going to need regular eye exams, glasses or contact lenses, and possibly surgery. This can all be quite costly. It’s time to look into getting the best vision insurance plan so that these expenses get covered.

Technology Is Here to Stay

Like it or loathe it, we’re surrounded by technology. There are screens everywhere, and we spend countless hours in front of them. This is taking a toll on our bodies, in particular the eyes.

CVS is a commonly discussed topic amongst ophthalmologists, and it affects more than half of computer and smartphone users. 

With time and as we age, though, our eyes will need extra help, like glasses or contact lenses. In the meantime, it’s not too late. Taking steps now, like rearranging your workspace, or taking regular breaks from the monitor goes a long way to help alleviate the issues.

 

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