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Keeping your eyes safe by limiting computer and television screen time

Hopefully the warm summer weather has encouraged you to spend more time outdoors and away from television, computer and tablet screens.  It’s inevitable that in this technological age we are going to see significant screen time. 

With computers at nearly every desk, mobile devices in nearly every pocket and a television in nearly every room, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get away and give your eyes a break.  But, all of this time spent staring at the screen may be doing more damage than you think.

The American Optometric Association acknowledges eye health issues associated with too much screen time as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. CVS symptoms include eyestrain, fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry or irritated eyes, neck or backaches and double vision.

According to Dr. Harit K. Bhatt, an ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., says that most symptoms of CVS are temporary and will dissipate as people reduce their time in front of screens. But some of those symptoms may persist and need to be checked out by an eye care professional. Many of these symptoms are caused by a reduction in the blink rate of the eye while looking at a screen.

What steps can you take to help reduce the risk of CVS? The Vision Council recommends that you follow these steps:

  • The most important step is to check with your eye care provider to determine the best solution for your eyes and lifestyle.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
  • Consider using computer eyewear to help combat eyestrain; products are available in prescription and non-prescription varieties.
  • Create an ergonomically friendly workstation with proper lighting, seat adjustments, and monitor settings.
  • Maintain an appropriate distance from handheld and stationary device screens
  • Enlarge your computer text and browser windows for easier viewing.
  • Limit the amount of competing indoor and outdoor light.
  • Clean electronic device screens frequently to eliminate dust and glare.
  • Remember to blink; staring at screens can dry eyes.

To learn more about what you can do to help care for your eyes, contact Cabarrus Eye Center at http://www.cabarruseye.com, call us at (704) 782-1127 or visit us at: Cabarrus Eye Center, 201 LePhillip Court, Concord, North Carolina  28025

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