Helpful Tip:“Today’s offices are commonly cool and dry, which is nice and comfortable, except for the eyes,” notes Dr. Mendelson, whose clinical interests include the study of computer ergonomics. “If you use eyedrops periodically - and a drop just before you begin work is a good way to start - then you can slow some of the drying of the eye that takes place.”
Vision health professionals at UT Southwestern are treating a growing number of people who work all day at computers and are experiencing eye fatigue because of it. The malady is known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), which the American Optometric Association describes as a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use.
Fortunately, to combat the problem there is a health care strategy called 20/20/20: Every 20 minutes, the computer user should take a break for at least 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away. UT Southwestern’s Edward Mendelson, O.D., a Faculty Associate in the Department of Ophthalmology, recommends adding another 20 to the mix. “Give yourself 20 good blinks,” he says. “Blinking is nature’s way of keeping the eyes moist, and those blinks help to lubricate and refresh.” Most of us don’t blink as often when working at a computer, he says, and in a dry environment tears evaporate more than normal.