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Many established companies and startups alike rely on computers. They have become an everyday part of our lives, and they allow us to perform actions we never would have dreamt of 30 years ago. However, using computers on a daily basis can lead to some pretty unpleasant medical conditions. Most of us recognize that our posture slouches more when we’re sitting at a desktop, but how many feel the impacts on our eyes?

It turns out, millions of Americans suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome. This condition affects not only our eyes, but much of our upper body. First, what most people notice is eye strain that doesn’t go away. It will feel torturous to move your eyes even slightly, leading many to feel a constant discomfort for hours on end. Then, some will notice blurred vision or dryness of the eyes. Headaches are common, too, and can cause radiating pain in the neck and shoulders.

Clearly, this is a recipe for a bad day at the office. Unfortunately, many people are so reliant on our computers and phones that we do not give our eyes enough time to rest. This can lead to a vicious cycle of pain, causing people to take time off of work or visit doctors to try to get treated.

Since Computer Vision Syndrome is primarily a symptom of overuse of screens, doctors are limited in their ability to help you. They may prescribe a mild anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, for headaches and muscle pain. You may also be prescribed eye drops to help with dryness.

Although medication and eye drops can help temporarily, the problem will not stop until you make some changes to your computer habits. Here are a few quick tips that can help you stay pain-free:

  1. Limit screen time outside of the office, especially if you use computers the entire day.
  2. Set your brightness lower, as brighter screens can cause more strain.
  3. Make a conscious effort to blink more regularly. We blink less often when looking at screens, causing more dryness.
  4. Every 30 minutes, take a minute or two to look away from your screen. Focusing on other objects will help combat blurred vision and eye strain.
  5. Use a built-in tool or software to block blue light from your screen. Blue light is harsher on our eyes, and removing it from the display will help keep your eyes feeling better longer.

Computer Vision Syndrome can become so severe that it causes other problems in people’s lives. Before you let it get too extreme, take a few steps to lessen the impact screens have on your health.