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New York City
May 2001

ASK THE EYE CARE SPECIALIST

In order to answer some of your general questions about eye care, please send your questions to ďAsk the Eye Care Specialist,Ē c/o Education Update, 276 Fifth Ave., Suite 1005, New York, NY, 10001 or email: ednews1@aol.com. We will try to answer as many questions as possible in this column. Specific diagnoses of eye diseases or conditions cannot be made. The answers given in this column must not take the place of your doctorís advice.

Computers and Your Eyes

by Amelia G. Bartelone, OD, FAAO

QUESTION: My eyes get tired every time I use the computer for more than 15 minutes. What should I do?

ANSWER: Symptoms such as eye fatigue, eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, dry eyes and headaches are often associated with computer use and are referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome. These symptoms can be related to poor aiming and focusing on the computer monitor. The staring phenomena created by computers, resulting in dry eye, can also cause many complaints. Simple tips, such as looking up and across the room from the computer every 15 minutes and making a conscious effort to blink, can eliminate many symptoms.

Poor ergonomics can also contribute to eye fatigue with computer use. Ideally the computer monitor should be at least two feet away with the center of the monitor slightly below eye level. The computer monitor should be directly in front of you. An adjustable chair will help provide adequate height and support for different users.

Glare can also contribute to eyestrain and fatigue. All windows should have blinds and those close to the computer should be in front of the computer operator. Anti-glare screens can be helpful in minimizing glare.

If symptoms persist, make an appointment to see your eye doctor. Make sure that he or she tests for dry eye and the aiming and focusing skills of your eyes. In addition to checking for eye health and clarity of sight issues, the eye doctor will determine if any other treatments, such as computer glasses are necessary. Donít let Computer Vision Syndrome get in the way of your work and fun on computers.

Dr. Bartelone is on the faculty of SUNY College of Optometry and a member of NYC Childrenís Vision Coalition. For more information on finding an eye care professional near you, or if you have difficulty paying for your childís eye care, please contact Lori Brenig, MPH, The New York City Childrenís Vision Coalition, 212-980-2020x13.

If you would like to make a donation to help children get the necessary eye care, please send to: New York City Childrenís Vision Coalition, 149 Madison Ave., Ste. 805, NY, NY 10016. Thank you!

 

Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2001.




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