Keep an eye out for your eyes
Thu, 14 Nov 2013 00:30:00 GMT —
Nearly two thirds of Americans use computers every day, but all that time you spend in front of those digital screens could be taking an unexpected toll on your eyes.
"Screens now permeate every part of our lives. It's not just when we're at work anymore. Even if you walk into a restaurant and you look around, you'll see everybody's looking at their smartphones," Dr. Thomas Weshefsky, an optometrist at Carolina Forest Family Eyecare said.
Studies show that somewhere between 50% and 90% of people who work in front of a computer screen have some symptoms of eye trouble, which is often diagnosed as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Symptoms of CVS include eye strain, fatigue, dry eye and problems with glare, which are typically short-term.
But long-term, you could be in for much worse.
"The more nearsighted you become, the greater your risk for serious eye threatening complications becomes. Sight-threatening complications," Dr. Weshefsky said.
And the population of people suffering from nearsightedness has nearly doubled in a short amount of time.
"We know that nearsightedness in America in 1972 was in about 23% of the population. By 2003, it was nearly 48% of the population was nearsighted," Dr. Weshefsky said.
The biggest increase being in children.
"If you've ever watched children play with their DS or an iPod, they're holding it right up to their face. And it makes them more and more nearsighted," Dr. Weshefsky said.
Dr. Weshefsky said if you're experiencing any of these symptoms, take 20 minute breaks where your eyes aren't looking at anything digital.
When you're sitting at your desk, make sure there is good lighting in the room, the screen is about 15-24 inches away from your face, and look down at the computer from about a 20 degree angle.