Computers, phones, iPads add to eye strain

Feb. 16, 2013 at 1:31 AM
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CHICAGO, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Increasing use of smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs may expose the eyes to strain from long, uninterrupted screen time, U.S. eye experts say.

The American Optometric Association said some people might go beyond general computer eye strain and develop Computer Vision Syndrome, a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, and even neck and shoulder pain.

Prevent Blindness America, the nation's oldest volunteer eye health and safety group, provides employers with free information on ways to keep the eyes healthy on the job.

Eyestrain can be lessened or even prevented by making changes to the computer workspace and by visiting an eye doctor. The group suggests to:

-- Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.

-- Use a document holder placed next to your computer screen. It should be close enough so you don't have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.

-- Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your computer screen can also help.

-- Use an adjustable chair.

-- Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. An adjustable keyboard can be helpful.

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