Getting a headache or a migraine is something no one wants during the day. I’ve talked about the problems that come along with headaches because they can strike different people in different ways. Sometimes the cause is the foods they eat. Sometimes the cause is genetics and your age. However, more and more in today’s technology-enabled world, people are getting headaches while they’re working… but these
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Over the last few years, a new syndrome called Computer Vision Syndrome has come to relevance when talking about headaches from prolonged computer usage. In Computer vision syndrome: a review of ocular causes and potential treatments, a study found on NCBI’s website by Mark Rosenfield of SUNY College of Optometry, CVS is a combination of eye and vision problems that can cause a headache from computer usage.
CVS can cause eyestrain, headaches, ocular discomfort, dry eye, double vision, and blurred vision. CVS occurs during prolonged computer use and screen time. Unfortunately, because so much of today’s world is conducted through computers and different types of screens, it can be hard to cut out use completely. The American Optometric Association notes that the more time you’re in front of a screen, the more side effects from CVS you’ll experience.
In a separate study which was found on NCBI’s website and was published by C. Chu et al from SUNY College of Optometry, 90 percent of computer users have experienced CVS. They’re also more likely to experience CVS reading from a screen versus reading something from a printed source of material.
While CVS is an annoying problem you’ll have to deal with, the good news is that it’s not a permanent condition. The effects of CVS will likely go away when you stop using a computer or staring at a screen or when you take proper steps to ensure your symptoms and headaches will be less severe.
Ways to Reduce Headaches and CVS Symptoms
Headaches related to computer usage and screen time can be reduced easily. Follow some of these tips to reduce tech-related headaches.
Use Proper Screen Settings
Did you know there are certain settings you can adjust on your computer to help with whatever you’re working on? If you find you work with a lot of photos, make sure your computer is set to a view mode that’s suitable for photographs. Making this adjustment can decrease the possibility of CVS since you have an appropriate setting on your computer for the work you’re doing. Some digital monitors and mobile phones may also have settings to adjust the amount of blue light being emitted at any given time.
Make Sure Your Work Area is Properly Staged
Staging isn’t just for showing off your home if you’re trying to sell it. Making sure the area where you work is properly staged is going to help reduce the likelihood of a headache. In your workspace, make sure your computer is directly in front of you and is at eye level. The monitor also needs to be 20 to 40 inches away from your face to cut down on eye strain.
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
The 20-20-20 rule comes from the American Optometric Association. It’s a simple rule that says for every 20 minutes of computer use, take a 20-second break to stare at something 20 feet away. Doing this can help alleviate eye strain, which can cause a headache.
Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Staying on top of your vision health can cut down on the number of headaches you experience, whether it’s from computer usage or poor eyesight in general. While you’re at the eye doctor, let them know if you’re doing a lot of computer work. They may be able to prescribe glasses that you can use when you’re working on the computer that can help with headaches. You can also search for glasses which are made specifically for reducing blue light exposure and reducing glare. These designer glasses from Felix Gray are both effective and stylish. They could make for a great holiday gift or birthday present for that special someone in your life!
Or, if you’re not a fan of glasses, consider installing an app on your phone or computer that can cut down on the amount of blue light emitted, which can be another cause of headaches.
Check Your Posture
When it comes to using a computer, the posture you have truly matters. Your need to plant your feet on the floor and your thighs need to be parallel to the ground. Your hands and wrists shouldn’t be resting on the keyboard as you’re typing; instead, make sure you have some form of padding for your wrists to rest on while you’re working. And because dry eye is a side effect of CVS, make sure you blink more often than you normally would. Because reading things on a screen is different from reading them on a sheet of paper, your eyes tend to dry out quicker.
When it comes to headaches on the job, no one wants them. They can slow you down and can take a long time to go away. If your headache is the result of technology missteps, follow the tips above and monitor your screen usage to cut down on the number of headaches you’ll get.