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Take a Visual Break

POSTED ON July 7, 2011

Blog

The nature of my work requires me to sit at my computer most of the day. Too often I find myself intently working on a project on my computer and without realizing it, I go hours without taking my eyes off the screen. And I’m not alone. Shame on me. This is how computer vision syndrome (CVS) becomes a problem. CVS occurs because our eyes and brain react differently to the characters on our computer screen than they do to printed characters. Printed characters are ...

The nature of my work requires me to sit at my computer most of the day. Too often I find myself intently working on a project on my computer and without realizing it, I go hours without taking my eyes off the screen. And I’m not alone.

Shame on me. This is how computer vision syndrome (CVS) becomes a problem. CVS occurs because our eyes and brain react differently to the characters on our computer screen than they do to printed characters. Printed characters are typically dense and black with well-defined edges. But pixels on a computer screen don’t have those same well-defined edges and they are brightest at the center and fade toward the edges.

It’s difficult for our eyes to focus on a computer screen so they continually drift which causes the eye muscles to flex produces eyestrain.

Your Indiana eye doctor recommends the 20/20/20 rule to relieve CVS. Here’s how it goes: Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away.

If you’re like me, remembering to take a break every 20 minutes can be tough. Allow me to introduce you to EVO. EVO is my personal eye assistant. He is available from protectyourvision.org. This little character stays open in the background and sounds an alert every 20 minutes. Then, once you click a button to start your “break,” the screen goes black to encourage eye rest. After 20 seconds, another 20 minute session starts. For an added bonus, visit the “eyes gymnastics” section.

Other remedies include blinking often, keeping bright overhead light to a minimum and adjusting your computer screen. Visit your closest Dr. Tavel location and ask about special eyewear, eye drops and other office-environment adjustments for your tired eyes.

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