The Downside to the Age of Technology

  • Posted on: Jan 30 2021
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Cropped shot of a businessman looking exhausted while sitting at his deskIn the last 12 months, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how we work. Even before the onset of the novel coronavirus, we were leaning into technology and computer use more than at any time in history. Last year alone, the use of social media increased by over 60%. That is only one indication of how much our risk of digital eye strain may have increased. While working from home, schooling from home, and other computer use has become necessary, there are also risks associated with this shift in society. We’ll discuss that here.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Digital eye strain is also called computer vision syndrome. This term describes a group of vision problems that stem from the prolonged or repetitive use of a digital device. In modern society, we use several. We may look from our computer screen to our smartphone, from our smartphone to our tablet, and so on. Due to the level of reliance on our digital devices, 50 to 90% of users are affected by computer vision syndrome. The condition may be common but that does not make it normal. If symptoms occur, they should not be ignored.

Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

The symptoms of computer vision syndrome may not be indicative of a serious eye condition. However, they can become uncomfortable enough to affect productivity or quality of life. Symptoms include:

  • Aching eyes
  • Excessive eye watering
  • Eye twitching
  • Difficulty focusing the eyes
  • Blurriness or double vision
  • Dry or itchy eyes
  • Light-sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Reducing the Risk of Computer Vision Syndrome

Get regular eye exams from an ophthalmologist. This creates a record that can track vision changes.

  • Give your eyes a rest. It does not seem as though our use of digital devices is going to decrease anytime soon. So, the strategy to employ is to schedule rest. Set an alarm for every 20 minutes and close your eyes for 20 seconds. Before focusing immediately on your device, look across the room for about 20 seconds.
  • Adjust your screens. Light that is too bright for your environment is too strong for your eyes. For example, if you use your smartphone just before bed, your screen brightness should be decreased just enough for you to read the screen without squinting.
  • Use blue-light protectors. Special blue-light and anti-glare protectors can be placed over the screens of digital devices, including laptops and desktop computers, to minimize the harshness.

Your eye health is our business. Contact us in North Canton, Alliance, or Canfield to schedule a full ophthalmic exam.

Posted in: Computer Eye Strain

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