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We are pleased to announce that all three of our Vision Source locations will be reopening for service during the week of May 4th, 2020.

During this difficult time, we have made adjustments to our services to ensure the health and safety of your patients, our staff, and our Doctors. Click here to read more.

Home » News » 8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

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Everyone seems to be staring at a screen these days, whether their computer, their smartphone or another digital device. The stress it puts on your eyes can cause a condition called "digital eye strain" (DES) or "computer vision syndrome" (CVS). Symptoms include eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes, and eye twitching.

How To Protect Your Eyes While You Work

Below are a few things you can do to lower your risk or mitigate any discomfort associated with DES.

1. See your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam

This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent or treat symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. During your eye doctor’s appointment, make sure to speak with Amy Parker, O.D. about your working habits, including the frequency and length of time you use a computer and other devices at work and at home.

If you get a chance before you come, measure the distance between your eyes and your computer screen and bring that information to the optometrist, so that you can get your eyes tested for that specific working distance.

Computer vision syndrome may be exacerbated by an underlying dry eye disease, which can be diagnosed and treated at our eye clinic in Willowbrook.

Sometimes people who have good visual acuity assume they don’t need any glasses. However, even very mild prescriptions can improve eyestrain and curb fatigue when working at a computer.

2. Good lighting is key

Excessively bright light, whether due to outdoor sunshine coming in through the window or harsh interior lighting, is a common cause of eyestrain. When using your computer, your ambient lighting should be about 50% dimmer than what is typically found in most offices.

You can reduce exterior light by closing drapes, blinds or shades and diminish interior illumination by using fewer or lower intensity bulbs. Computer users often find that turning off overhead fluorescent lights and replacing them with floor lamps is easier on their eyes.

3. Minimize glare

Eyestrain can be aggravated by glare from light reflecting off surfaces including your computer screen. Position your computer so that windows are neither directly in front of nor behind the monitor, but rather to the side of it. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your display. If you wear glasses, get anti-reflective (AR) coating on your lenses to reduce glare by limiting the amount of light that reflects off the front and back surfaces of your lenses (more on that below.)

4. Upgrade your display

If you have a CRT (cathode) screen on your monitor, consider replacing it with a flat-panel LED (light-emitting diode) screen that includes an anti-reflective surface. Old-school CRT screens can be a major cause of computer eye strain due to the flickering images.

For your new flat panel desktop display, choose one with a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches, and the higher the resolution, the better.

5. Adjust display settings for added comfort

Adjusting your computer display settings can help decrease eye strain and fatigue too.

  • Brightness: Adjust your device’s brightness to match the luminance around you. If the white background of this page looks like a light source, then it should be dimmed. However, if it appears dull and gray, it may not provide enough contrast, which can make it hard to read.
  • Text size: Adjust the text size for maximum eye comfort, particularly when reading, editing or writing long documents. Increase the size if you find yourself squinting, but bigger isn’t always better, since overly large text display may force your eyes to track back and forth too quickly for comfort.
  • Color temperature: This refers to the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light, whereas orange and red are longer wavelength hues. Exposure to blue light helps keep you alert but tends to cause eye fatigue after a while; yellow to red tints are more relaxing and may be better for long-term viewing, especially at night. Many devices allow the user to adjust the color temperature.

6. Get computer glasses

Nearly 70% of North Americans experience digital eye strain related to prolonged use of electronic devices. To combat these effects, Vision Source Willowbrook recommends digital protection coatings, which act as a shield to cut the glare and filter the blue light emanating from digital screens and artificial light.

For the greatest eye comfort, ask Amy Parker, O.D. for customized computer glasses, which feature mildly tinted lenses that filter out blue light. These can be made with or without prescription vision correction, for the benefit of those with 20/20 vision or contact lens wearers, though many people with contacts actually prefer to have alternative eyewear to use when their lenses become dry and uncomfortable from extended screen time.

Vision Source Willowbrook can help you choose from a vast array of effective optical lenses and lens coatings to relieve the effects of digital eye strain.

7. Don't forget to blink

When staring at a digital device people tend to blink up to 66% less often, and often the blinks performed during computer work are only partial which aren’t as effective at keeping the eyes moist and fresh feeling. Making a conscious effort to blink more while working or watching can prevent dryness and irritation.

8. Exercise your eyes

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at an object located 20 feet away, for a minimum of 20 seconds. This "20-20-20 rule" is a classic exercise to relax the eyes’ focusing muscles and reduce computer vision syndrome.

 

The steps above don’t require a tremendous amount of time or money to be effective. Contact Vision Source Willowbrook in Willowbrook to make an appointment with Amy Parker, O.D. and learn how the right eye drops, eye exercises, computer glasses, or AR coatings can improve eye comfort, reduce computer vision syndrome and potentially lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

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We are pleased to announce that all three of our Vision Source locations will be reopening for service during the week of May 4th, 2020.

During this difficult time, we have made adjustments to our services to ensure the health and safety of your patients, our staff, and our Doctors.

For the Protection of Our Patients, we have implemented the following procedures in our clinics:

Limited Appointment Scheduling - in order to ensure we are able to properly disinfect and adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines set forth by our local authority.  Certainly, urgent and emergency patients will be prioritized.

Fever Free Environment - Temperatures will be taken upon entering the clinic of all patients, staff, and doctors.  Anyone with 99.5 degrees or higher will be asked to reschedule.  Anyone who is taking a fever-reducing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be asked to reschedule once the medication is clear from their system so we can be sure of an accurate temperature reading.

Pre-Screening Questionnaire - We will continue to ask any patient with URI symptoms to reschedule their appointment until they have been asymptomatic for 3 days or have a negative COVID test.

Face Covering - We are requiring everyone entering our clinics to wear some type of facial covering such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief.

Wash hands and sanitize - Upon entering the office, everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands.  Additionally, we will request they sanitize their hands before re-entering the business area.

All Vision Source staff with direct patient contact will be required to wear a mask.

Social Distancing - We are limiting the number of patients in our office and are asking, when possible, only the patient enters our clinics for their visit.  Please ask the person with your patient to stay in their car.  We can text them if they need their assistance.

When scheduling patients, we will be:

  1. Asking them if they have been diagnosed with COVID or been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID.  In those cases, we will postpone seeing the patient unless emergent.
  2. We will ask if they have any current symptoms of COVID.
  3. They will be notified that upon arrival to our office they will have their temperature taken.
  4. We will ask the patients NOT to bring family members with them into the office and we ask patients to wait in the car until they are called inside for their appointment.
  5. We will ask the patient to bring their own mask or face covering.  All of our doctors and any staff who will have direct patient contact will be masked.

Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

Please stay safe and healthy.

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