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October 15, 2012 06:06 PM

More Suffer From Computer Vision Syndrome

sioux falls, sd

Many people spend hours in front of a computer screen every day. But did you realize all that screen time can actually cause vision problems? The number of people diagnosed with computer vision syndrome is on the rise.

Lynnette Gales spends a lot of time on the internet at home finding ideas on Pinterest.

"Lots of lots of pins," Gales said.

But the Sioux Falls woman's screen time extends beyond personal use.

"My job is primarily at a computer. That's all I do at work," Gales said.

And she suffers from eye problems.

"Blurred vision, eye strain, and some headaches and neck problems with it too," Gales said.

But she never thought her computer was to blame. Doctor Rebecca Larson with EyeSite by Howlin Vision diagnosed Gales with computer vision syndrome and gave her a pair of computer glasses to reduce eye strain.

"I had no idea they had such a thing. Everybody kind of looks at me weird like, 'you have computer glasses?'" Gales said.

But Larson says the glasses are becoming a more common sight.

"People use their computers a lot more often at work and also they're really plugged in after work as well as far as their smart phones or iPads," Larson said.

But if you want to avoid getting an extra pair of glasses for computer vision syndrome, Dr. Larson says there are some ways to help prevent it.

"Making sure your monitor is a little lower or your chair is a little higher, looking at glare situations in the office. Is there a window right behind you that's causing a glare on your computer screen," Larson said.

Larson says it's also helpful to take a 20-second screen break every 20 minutes. That's something Gales does but says her new glasses have made a huge difference.

"Even with your cell phone you notice the computer glasses make a difference," Gales said.

Larson says some symptoms of computer vision syndrome are blurred vision, eye strain, headaches, and neck problems.

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