I have a rather unglamorous, yet permanent Public Service Announcement.
Disclaimer: First and foremost, I am not a medical professional by any stretch of the imagination. I am merely sharing my experience. Please consult your own GP or Opthomologist if you have questions or concerns.
To all my fellow writers, bloggers, YouTubers, social media hounds, laptop & smart phone lovers… please be mindful of eye strain!
Late last week I was working away on my laptop and in a moment, my normal 20/20 seemed a bit off. Was it the laptop settings? Was there a glare coming in from the afternoon light? No, my eyes were just crossing all by themselves! Did it hurt? No. Did it freak my out? Yes. The whole experience of double vision lasted a few seconds, despite me actively trying to straighten my eyes & focus on something in the distance. Uggg… let the head games begin. Fortunately I kept my cool and it was over within moments, but it’s a lesson learned. It just goes to show how much I’m really on the computer and iPhone. Enough is enough… talk about a much-needed lifestyle change.
So many of us are writing, editing, creating – hell, even online shopping – and the hours of tech time add up. The demands put on our body can take a toll.
After seeing both my GP and an Opthomologist and undergoing a series of tests, it turns out that I have absolutely nothing wrong with me & continue to have 20/20. I simply experienced an eye spasm due to eye strain. If it can happen to me…
Have you heard of Computer Vision Syndrome? Here’s what WebMD has to say:
Staring at a computer monitor for hours on end has become a part of the modern workday. Inevitably, all of that staring can put a real strain on your eyes.
The name for eye problems caused by computer use is computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is not one specific eye problem. Instead, the term encompasses a whole range of eyestrain and pain experienced by computer users.
If you have computer vision syndrome, you may experience some or all of these symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dry, red eyes
- Eye irritation
- Neck or back pain
Besides visiting your eye doctor, here are a few ways to relieve CVS:
- Cut glare
- Rearrange your desk
- Give your eye’s a break
- Tweak your computer settings
Click here to read the full article.
There is a ton of information out there, but I found the following three tips particularly helpful:
Tips for Eye Health via WebMD
Give Your Eyes a Break from the Computer Screen
If you work in front of a computer screen all day, use the 20-20-20 rule to let your eyes rest: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away or more for at least 20 seconds. It helps break the eyes’ constant strain of focusing from doing close work, like reading or looking at a computer monitor. And always be sure that you’re a comfortable arm’s distance away from what you’re looking at or reading, says Dr. Lowe. Another reason to give your eyes a break: According to Dr. Lowe, when we concentrate, whether it’s on reading or on the computer, we blink about half as many times as we do when we aren’t concentrating. Blinking is how we bring fresh tears to the corneal surface, which helps your eyes stay moist and free of irritants. So the more we concentrate, the drier our eyes become.
Protect Your Eyes as You Would Protect Your Skin
Every time you lather on sunscreen, think about shielding your eyes from the sun as well. A lifetime of UV light exposure can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration, so always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. And since, by the time you hit age 18, you’ve already received 80 percent of the UV light that you’ll be exposed to in a lifetime, it’s crucial to protect your children’s eyes as well.
“Airplane air quality tends to be drier and more irritating to the eye, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer,” says Dr. Lowe. Using rewetting or lubricating drops in your eyes before boarding (keep the bottle handy during the flight too) is a smart way to prevent irritation caused by dry eyes. Bring along an extra pair of lenses and your glasses, just in case. And while you’re on vacation, it’s never a good idea to expose contact lenses to pool or hot tub water, which is full of irritating chemicals and bacteria that can cause infections.
To find out more, check out: “10 Tips for Eye Health” by Amanda Greene.
Have you experienced eye strain out of the blue? I have to say, I’m completely reworking my day-to-day schedule. Time on the computer & iPhone are unavoidable, but it’s quality, not quantity.
Tips? Suggestions? Horror stories??