Eyesight can worsen with electronics use

By Alexus Brock
Life Asst. Editor

Are you experiencing headaches along with tired, burning, watering, itching and dry eyes, double vision? How about blurred vision, eye fatigue, eye strain, bloodshot eyes, sore eyes, irritated eyes or eye pain?

You could have Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, a condition common in this generation of computer users.

CVS is a condition that 90 percent of computer users develop after two hours of computer use. It is caused by eye muscle fatigue.

An average of 70 to 75 percent of those computer users will need glasses to relieve their symptoms.

The syndrome also can cause intraocular muscle spasms, resulting in pseudo-myopia, which is a form of fleeting nearsightedness that causes distance vision to blur when a person looks up after prolonged computer use.

“You are focusing muscle designed for movement,” said Dr. Stephanie Layman, optometrist for Lifetime Eyecare Family Vision Center in Jackson. “When you’re staring at a computer, you’re asking that muscle to stay contracted for a long period of time, and that’s why people get in trouble at the computer.”

Treatment of CVS or any type of eye strain is simple.

Try taking frequent breaks, limiting work sessions to one to one-and-a-half hours at a time and making sure rooms are illumined well.

Black on white text is better for eyes than blue on white text when it comes to helping the eyes focus, Layman said.

“It is really important to take breaks from any [book work] or computer work especially,” said Maureen Ellis, certified optometric vision therapist for Johnson Vision Development Center in Jackson. “Taking a break every 20 to 30 minutes and just looking off into the distance and letting your eyes relax is really important.”

Alexander Roberts, junior computer science major, endorses the ideas, saying he thinks they have helped him maintain his 20/20 vision.

“When I’m on the computer for a long period of time, I try to focus my attention away, even if it’s just for 20 minutes,” Roberts said. “I go and grab something to eat or take a car ride just to keep my eyes from constantly focusing on one thing for too long. It helps.”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.