The average American worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer
138 million Americans now regularly read on digital devices
85 million adults spend half of their waking hours on a digital device
These facts are staggering, and are in no way projected to decrease with the constant rise of technology in our society. With our constant use and interaction with screens in our day-to-day lives, eye and vision related problems have occurred, and is now referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). This digital eyestrain results from prolonged cell phone, computer, and tablet use, and according to the Vision Council, 65% of Americans suffer from this. Common occurrences with CVS are dry eye, eye irritation, blurred vision, and double vision.
So what makes screens so harmful to look at? Well, our beloved digital devices contain HEV Blue Light, the only light that penetrates the eye all the way back to the retina. This light penetration is highly damaging to the retina and can lead to cataracts as well as is linked to sleep disorders.
CVS and Productivity
Not only does prolonged screen use have an affect on our eyes, but it also has been directly correlated to productivity. In a study done at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Optometry, a conclusion was formed producing a direct correlation between online vision protection and productivity.
The study’s chief investigator, Kent Daum, OD, PhD concludes:
“Our data strongly suggest that improving the visual status of workers using computers results in greater productivity in the workplace, as well as improved visual comfort”
Since our everyday lives involve interactions with screens, it has become increasingly important to help alleviate the digital eyestrain individuals encounter. When feeling common symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, or neck/shoulder pain, it is important to treat your eyes to relieve this strain.
A common practice is the 20-20-20 rule, where every 20 minutes you take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away.
For those who must use a computer screen for work or school, correcting your positioning of view can be crucial to your eye care. Poor lighting, improper viewing distances, and seating posture are just a few of the corrections that can be made to make computer use less harmful to your eyes.
Computer Vision Syndrome affects many people without them even knowing what it is or how to combat it. But, through eye care, conscious blinking, and regular eye breaks, you can keep your vision in tact without falling prone to CVS. So, finish reading this post, and finally give your eyes a break, they deserve it.