Do you have a headache after being on the computer all day?

Do you have a headache after being on the computer all day?

Research shows computer eye problems are common. The research shows that 50% to 90% of people who work in front of a computer all day complain about symptoms of eye problems. Computers are everywhere and are being used for everything from reading to playing games. In today’s time we don't function without using computers.

Eye Strain

Eye strain is a very common complaint from patients who work in front of a computer all day. It’s the eye strain that causes the headache. Sitting up close to the monitor seems to cause eye strain. The distance between the monitor and your eyes is called “working distance.” Eye muscles constantly have to re-adjust when trying to focus, which causes the eye to be strained. Not all eyestrain causes headaches. Eye strain can also be caused by the light; it can be caused by using the wrong prescription or not wearing glasses when you’re supposed to. Bad posture while on the computer can cause neck pain which can cause a headache. Working at the computer is actually worse than reading a book for an extended period of time. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer time.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

CVS refers to a group of vision-related problems experienced while staring at your computer screen for prolong periods of time. Studies have proven more “eye stress” is generated from reading words on a computer than reading a regular book. Ignoring eye strain can actually cause you to develop computer vision syndrome. There is no evidence that CVS causes any long-term damage.

Symptoms of CVS:
1. Tired eyes
2. Headache
3. Fuzzy or blurred vision
4. Dry eyes
5. Double vision
6. Red eyes
7. Eye irritation
8. Neck or back pain from incorrect posture

Computer Vision Syndrome is diagnosed through a specialized eye examination. Using the information gained from these tests, along with results of other tests, your optometrist can determine if you have Computer Vision Syndrome and advise you on treatment options.

The testing may include:

  • Patient history – the doctor will ask about any health problems, medication you’re taking and anything else you feel may be important.
  • Measurements of visual sharpness to assess the extent to which vision may be affected. Testing how the eyes focus, move and work together. The testing will be looking for problems such as eyes focusing effectively and to make sure that both eyes are moving in unison.

CVS can affect both children and adults. Children are being exposed to computers, gaming systems, and iPads, just to name a few, and they are being exposed to them at a very early age. There are several tips to reduce the likelihood that your children will develop CVS. When it comes to prevention and treatment the same recommendations apply to children as with adults. There are a few additional strategies for children.

  • Monitor the time your child has on the computer, iPad, and other things that use a computer type screen. Limit this time and make sure that your children are taking breaks from the device.
  • Have your child's vision checked yearly.

Children, ages 8 to 18 on average, devote to entertainment media (including computer and video games) 7.38 hours each day. This has increased from 6.19 hours in 1999. In 2009, 29% of American children ages 8 to 18 had their own laptop computer, and kids in grades 7 through 12 reported spending an average of more than 90 minutes a day sending or receiving texts on their cell phones.

Prevention of CVS

There are things you can do to prevent CVS or at the very least it can help decrease the discomfort.

  • Use proper lighting
  • Minimize glare
  • Adjust brightness and contrast on your screen
  • Blink more often
  • Exercise your eyes
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Put the monitor at eye level so you don't have to bend your neck
  • Give your eyes a rest when you feel them getting tired
  • Try not to sit right up on the computer

Treatment of CVS

Solutions to computer-related vision problems are varied. Nevertheless, CVS can usually be lessened by obtaining regular eye care and making changes in how you view the computer screen. The angle of your gaze plays a key role in CVS. For the best angle, the center of the monitor, tablet or phone should be 20 to 28 inches from your eyes and 4 to 5 inches below eye level.

Be sure that you are getting your eyes examined at least once a year to ensure your eyes remain healthy.

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