Optometrists weigh in on avoiding computer vision syndrome

Optometrists recommends taking a break from technology every 20 minutes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Many people get blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and neck pain after being in front of a computer screen for too long. Those are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS), and optometrists say it’s becoming more common with the overuse of technology.

Dealing with people’s vision problems is something Dr. Kimberly Zimmerman, with Premier Eye Care Group, knows all too well.

“It affects pretty much everybody. It’s becoming more common with teens,” Zimmerman said.

People can get the syndrome sitting a computer, tablet, or cell phone.

“A lot of times, you end up having eye strain,” Zimmerman said. “There’s a lot of dryness that can happen to the eyes, as well as headaches and just overall discomfort around the eyes.”

“It’s very annoying,” Stephanie Dincau said.

Dincau suffers from Computer Vision Syndrome.

“After computer use, generally it’s the eyes feel tired, focusing becomes an issue, and more need for frequent breaks from what I’m doing,” Dincau said.

“It can happen with any type of screen,” Zimmerman said. “We tend to blink less, and it can go from about 18 blinks a minute down to 10 blinks a minute.”

Zimmerman says you don’t have to suffer. You can take steps to keep symptoms at bay.

“If you’re sitting about an arm’s length away, and you want the center of your screen to be a few inches below eye level as well. Whenever we look at something close to us, our eyes need to move in, and it’s more of a natural thing to be looking down,” Zimmerman said.

Optometrists recommends taking a break from technology every 20 minutes and looking around the room for 20 seconds.