Technology can help us and technology can hurt us, and in the case of eye strain, it’s all about keeping a healthy balance. A large segment of today’s workforce population spends most of their time while working in front of a computer; not to mention the time at home and throughout the day spent staring at cell phone screens, tablets, televisions, and et cetera. All of this screen time adds up, and as time passes each day the impact these screens have on your eyesight increases. Often, this strain can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome.

It may take time to notice the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which include:

• Blood shot/dry eyes
• Difficulty focusing
• Blurred or double vision
• Light sensitivity
• Pain in your upper back and neck
• Headaches

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms while you work, or even at home, then it’s time to take steps to relieve your eyes from strain. The following is an excellent first step toward preventing the effects of CVS:

Follow the “20 20 20 rule”:
For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, turn away from the screen and stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

This is a simple and effective exercise that anyone can do in the office or at home. You can also easily go get a cup of coffee, take a brief walk, head outside for some fresh air, and et cetera – any activity that keeps you away from a screen counts – staring at your mobile phone instead of your computer does not.

There are some instances in which the” 20 20 20 rule”, a walk around the block, or a coffee break just aren’t enough. In some cases, your symptoms are more serious and it’s time to visit your doctor. If you are experiencing consistent eye discomfort, a change in your vision, double vision, and/or persistent headaches, it’s time to seek the opinion and advice of a medical professional.

Computer Vision Syndrome is easily preventable, even for those whose job requires a large amount of screen time each day – you just need to be aware of when it’s time to take a break. Most cases of CVS do not have long lasting effects as long as the individual is consistent with taking breaks and vigilant of their symptoms.