Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Behind-the-screen: Computer vision syndrome

Life Lessons: Behind-the-screen

Between Netflix, video games, cell phones and work, Americans spend multiple hours a day looking at screens. If your eyes are feeling strained, or maybe you're getting constant headaches, you may be falling victim to computer vision syndrome.

Prolonged screen use often results in computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain.

Headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain are all common symptoms. These symptoms can be caused by poor lighting, a glare on your screen, viewing from too close, or poor seating posture.

Steven Weiniger, DC, Certified Posture Exercise Professional, said, "It literally affects how people's health is because your chest is compressed, you can't breathe as well, your head is jutting forward, so in order to keep your head balanced, your muscles are working harder."

As the world becomes digitized, it's important to know how to protect your eyes. The American Optometric Association says follow the 20-20-20 rule. Meaning, take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Those who spend two or more consecutive hours on a digital screen each day have the highest risk for this syndrome. Go to for a 20-20-20 timer to be sure your eyes don't miss their break.

Another common cause of computer vision syndrome is uncorrected vision problems.

Experts say eating carrots, kale, Brazil nuts, kidney beans and oily fish can promote better eye health.

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