Eye doctors have warning for smartphone, computer users about Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome is on the rise

CLEVELAND - If you find your iPad stuck to your hands from typing, or your cell phone stuck to your fingers from texting, eye doctors hope you're making sure your eyes are healthy from all of that smart tool use.

Some symptoms of over-use is headaches, back pain, eye strain, blurry vision and dry eye.

University Hospitals eye doctor, Thomas Stokkermans, said after a study was done nationwide there is now a name for symptoms related to smart tools. 

The new eye syndrome is called Computer Vision Syndrome, or in short, CVS.

Some experts said 31 percent of people over the age of 18 are spending at least five hours a day on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Many of them do it for work or school, but there are some users that just have a fun addiction to the smart tools. But no matter what the reason you're using them, you can still get the problems associated with them.

Ja'Net Haskin's day is filled with smart tool usage, "I use the computer probably for 8 hours, my phone maybe 5."

And Sarah Huffman is also on a role every day with the same issues. She is a busy pre-med student, "the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email, check my phone, I go to my classes and I bring my computer."

Both young women said they are on the look out for the symptoms now that they know there is a condition associated with using the smart tools. But Ja'Net said she does get some headaches and thinks it is related to all that typing and texting.

So what can you do to help get rid of those symptoms? Doctors said first call for a visit to make sure you haven't developed anything serious.

If all checks out OK at the doctor's office, Dr. Stokkermans said to try these things:

* Protect your eyes: See if your doctor thinks computer vision glasses will help reduce glare and keep those headaches and problems away.

* 20/20/20 Rule: To avoid fatigue and eye strain symptoms, try the "20/20/20 Rule." Every 20 minutes, stop and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. That will help you refocus and take away the strain.

* Limit Device Use: The less time in front of a digital screen the less likely you are to feel symptoms. Try to use the smart tools only a few hours with breaks in between.

* Working distance: If you need to hold a digital devices (phone, tablet, video game) closer than the distance between your elbow and your first knuckle, let your eye doctor know. This way they can evaluate if there is a vision problem.

Another thing to keep in mind, children's usage. Experts who conducted the study said "not only do children use smart tools, they play video games alot and that can possibly cause some issues for them, as well."

Print this article Back to Top