Blinking combats computer vision syndrome

March 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM

DALLAS, March 24 (UPI) -- Working all day in front of a computer screen can result in eye fatigue but a U.S. optometrist says breaks and blinks helps combat computer vision syndrome.

The American Optometric Association defines computer vision syndrome as the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work that are experienced during or related to computer use.

Dr. Edward Mendelson of the University of Southwestern Medical Center's Department of Ophthalmology said there is a healthcare strategy to combat the problem called 20/20/20 -- computer users should take a break every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds, and look at objects that are 20 feet away.

However, Mendelson suggests adding another 20 to the mix.

"Give yourself 20 good blinks," Mendelson said in a statement. "Blinking is nature's way of keeping the eyes moist, and those blinks help to lubricate and refresh."

Mendelson, whose clinical interests include the study of computer ergonomics, said offices are commonly cool and dry, which is nice and comfortable, except for the eyes.

"If you use eye drops periodically -- and a drop just before you begin is a good way to start -- then you can slow some of the drying of the eye that takes place naturally in a cool, dry work environment," Mendelson said.

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