What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)?
Blurry vision? Tired eyes? Strained neck? Headaches? If you’re experiencing any or all of the above symptoms, you might have computer vision syndrome (CVS). Yes, it’s a real thing! When you stare at computers (or devices like smartphones and tablets) for too long, the muscles in your eyes have to work overtime. And “like any muscle, if you’re constantly using it, it can break down,” says James Stringham, PhD, research professor at the University of Georgia. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CVS (also called Digital Eye Strain) affects around 90 percent of people who spend at least three hours at their computer or other display devices. And in this day and age, the majority of jobs involve at least some computer work. What to do? Luckily, research shows that changing just a few everyday habits can reduce your risk for computer screen eye strain and improve your eyesight, pronto.
Eat leafy greens
Chowing down on leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli isn’t just a vitamin A fix; it’s been shown to reduce your risk for digital eye strain too. A recent University of Georgia study found that special nutrients in leafy green vegetables, also called lutein and zeaxanthin, not only have exceptional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, but they are also found in high concentrations at the backs of our eyes, protecting them from glare and bright lights—including from digital screens. “The American diet being the way that it is, we don’t get too much in the way of leafy green vegetables,” Dr. Stringham says. But the effects can be enormous. According to the University of Georgia study, lutein and zeaxanthin reduced eye strain and fatigue by 20 percent and resulted in one fewer headache per week among college students. The study also found that leafy greens improved the speed of the subjects’ visual processing, which led to faster reaction times and decision-making skills. Check out other reasons why you might have eye strain, according to science.