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January 05, 2021

How to Protect Your Eyes from Too Much Screen Time

When was the last time you visited the eye doctor? We’re pretty sure that most of our readers haven’t seen an ophthalmologist for at least a couple of years. As long as we can read those chats and recognize people waving at us, we’re just fine right? Wrong. Many of us exhibit troubling health symptoms that could seem irrelevant to our vision, when in fact, they are nothing but a direct result of vision troubles.

In today’s high-tech world, screens come with us wherever we go; even to bed. Whether you’re a heavy mobile phone user or just glued to your computer screen for professional purposes, you need to start taking care of your eyes to avoid serious vision problems that can develop over time due to extended screen time.

What could happen to your eyes if you stare too much at the screen? Well, a lot; starting with Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eyestrain. As eye care experts, we’re here to give you some valuable tips about how to alleviate the harmful effects of such vision problems, or even avoid them altogether.

First, let’s get you a bit more familiar with the terms.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)?

According to the American Optometric Association, “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also referred to as Digital Eyestrain, describes a group of eye – and vision-related – problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use.” If you’re suffering from regular headaches, neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, dry eyes, or eyestrain, you might already have CVS and getting your vision checked the soonest would be a good idea moving forward.

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Now that you know the symptoms, let’s dive into the reasons. Why does extended screen time cause CVS? Sitting, standing, or even laying down behind a digital screen entails many factors that could result in CVS, including: poor lighting, glare on a digital screen, improper viewing distances, poor seating postures, uncorrected vision problems, or even a combination of these factors.

7 Tips to Prevent/Alleviate Computer Vision Syndrome

  1. LIMIT SCREEN TIME, if you can. Try to reduce the time you spend behind your screen, if not at work, then at home or while moving from one place to another. Most importantly, avoid going to sleep while looking at your screen as this will put additional stress on your eyes since with a dim ambient light, you will force your eyes into focusing more on texts and images, which causes eyestrain.
  2. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. Computer users need to have their vision examined by an eye doctor or an optometrist once a year to help prevent or reduce CVS symptoms. You might have an underlying eye or vision condition that adds to your eyestrain or aggravates your CVS symptoms. It’s also important to speak to the examiner about your screen viewing habits and computer-related tasks so they’d get a better idea about your condition and prescribe the best corrective measures.
  3. ENSURE OPTIMAL VISION FOR VIEWING A COMPUTER. Whether you already wear corrective lenses or glasses or not, you might need special lens designs, lens powers or lens tints or coatings that are specifically designed for computer work. These will help you considerably reduce vision stress and maximize visual abilities and comfort.
  4. GEAR UP. Poor lighting, glare on the screen, and blue light are serious contributors to the development of CVS. To help alleviate their effects, you can shop a wide range of high-quality computer gadgets by trustworthy brands. Such accessories include computer lights and screen glare filters which decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen. You might also consider getting a professional screen cleaning solution and cloth to optimize your screen clarity.
  5. ADJUST YOUR POSITION, THE WORK AREA, AND YOUR COMPUTER FOR COMFORT.  When using a computer, remember the following important rules:
    • The top of the screen should be slightly below horizontal eye level.
    • Use an adjustable copyholder for reference material or ensure they’re located above the keyboard and below the monitor.
    • Ensure no lights or shadows are reflecting on your screen from your background.
    • Sit comfortably; your feet should rest flat on the floor and your arms adjusted to provide support while typing.
  6. REST YOUR EYES. After every 2 hours of work behind a computer screen, take a break to rest your eyes for 15 minutes. You can use this time to finish other tasks that do not require computer use. We also highly recommend to look into the distance every once in a while for about 20 seconds to allow your eyes to refocus.
  7. BLINK. Frequent blinking keeps your eyes moist and hydrated which will help lessen any eye discomfort while staring at a screen.

What’s the next step? Test Your Eyes at Magrabi. With our branches conveniently located across the UAE, KSA, Egypt, Kuwait & Qatar it’s easy for you to book your eye test online at the nearest Magrabi store. Performed by experienced optometrists, the test only takes 20 minutes of your time and will surely guaranty your eyes the protection they need.

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