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What can I do to prevent computer vision syndrome (CVS)?

Cutting your screen time is the primary way to prevent computer vision syndrome (CVS). But if you must have your eyes on the screen, the following will also help:
  • Look away: Rest your eyes if you're using the computer for extended periods. After two hours, take a 15-minute break. And, for every 20 minutes of use, look away for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away (the 20-20-20 rule); this will allow time for your eyes to refocus.
  • Blink: We normally blink about 15 times a minute, but when we're at a screen, we blink much less. Staring at a computer can result in dry eyes, which can be painful and irritating. To keep the front surface of your eye moist, blink frequently. It's also wise to keep some lubricating drops handy. (Another way to avoid dry eye is to steer clear of air that blows directly in your face and by running a humidifier if the air in the room is dry.)
  • Sit properly: Besides sitting on a comfortable, padded chair that conforms well to your body and sitting with your feet flat on the floor, the American Optometric Association suggests that you sit about 25 inches from the screen (or about arm's length). The screen should be positioned so that you are looking in a slightly downward position.
  • Cut the glare: Since many screens are glass, they give off considerable glare. You can reduce it by using a matte screen filter.
  • Adjust the brightness: The screen should not be brighter than the surrounding light; if it is, your eyes will have to work even harder to see. To reduce eyestrain, try adjusting the lighting in your room and at the same time, increasing the contrast on your screen.
This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
To prevent computer vision syndrome (CVS) it is recommended that every 20 minutes you focus your eyes on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.