You order contact lenses online, from Fresh Lens obviously, they arrive nice and new, you pop them in your eyes and you’re ready to take on the world. You can see clearly and crisply and all is well. Fast forward a bit and after staring intently at your computer screen for hours all of a sudden you have a headache, your eyes are red, twitching and as dry as the Sahara Desert and your vision is slightly blurry. What’s up with that? Unfortunately, you’re suffering from computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain. While all of our electronic devices are the usual culprits, really any time you stare at anything intensely for a lengthy period of time without interruption, such as when driving or reading, you can experience eyestrain as well.
Eye strain isn’t a disease and doesn’t cause any permanent damage to the eyes. Instead, it’s a collection of uncomfortable symptoms people often experience after extended, focused use of their eyes. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes, blurred or double vision, dry or watery eyes, a headache, feeling like you can’t keep your eyes open and increased light sensitivity. In some cases, when you’re staring really hard at a screen, you might even get a sore neck, back and shoulders. This doesn’t mean you have to toss your laptop or swear off your cell phone. There are a few simple ways you can defeat eyestrain:
Studies have shown that working non-stop at a computer for more than four hours has been associated with eye strain. Now you have an excuse to take at least four five-minute breaks spaced throughout the day, in addition to your two standard breaks. Not only are breaks good for productivity in general, they’re also good for preventing eye strain. Stand up and stretch your arms, neck, legs and back and give yourself a change of scenery by doing a lap around the office.
In addition to getting up and stepping away from the computer, adopt the 20-20-20 rule, which states you should avert your eyes from your screen every 20 minutes and look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Studies show that people blink a lot less when working at a computer, which leads to dry eyes and irritation. While no one likes dry eyes, this is especially a bummer for those who wear contact lenses. Make sure you’re blinking often and fully and if you need to, write yourself a blinking reminder and stick it to your computer. If an extra moisture boost is necessary, ask your eye doctor for lubricating eye drops that work well with contacts.
Position your monitor so it’s about 20-26 inches away from your eyes and slightly below eye level. Sit up straight and use an adjustable, ergonomic chair. If you’re looking at typed pages throughout the day, set up a document holder next to your monitor. Don’t forget about lighting either. Avoid bright light that causes harsh reflections or a glare. Draw your blinds or drapes to block out intense sunlight, try not to work under overhead fluorescent lighting and use lower wattage bulbs in desk lamps or floor lamps.
If it’s in your budget, opt for a newer computer with a LCD display, which is easier on the eyes or buy a glare filter to use over your screen. Be sure to increase the text size and contrast and adjust the brightness so that the brightness of the monitor matches the amount of light found in your surroundings.
A yearly eye exam is a must. Be sure to tell your eye care professional how often you’re working in front of a computer and the distance you sit from your monitor. This way, they can check you vision at your working distance, offer you tips for avoiding eye strain and adjust your prescription if need be.
Between work and our love of smart phones, it’s pretty difficult to avoid staring at a screen. However, following our tips can help you protect your eyes from digital eye strain for improved comfort and productivity. In addition to taking breaks and adjusting your workspace, wearing high-quality, breathable, moisture-enhancing contact lenses can be a big help too. At Fresh Lens, we have all of the latest and greatest in lenses and we even offer free shipping on contacts to the U.S. and Canada.
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