The first step if you're suffering from eye-strain or CVS
If you’re experiencing symptoms that you believe may be related to computer eye strain or CVS, the very first thing you should do (after the 20-20-20 rule, of course) is schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
Some simple tests can help ensure proper eye health, vision correction, and even reductions in the symptoms of eye strain. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you can expect during your appointment with your eye doctor.
The first thing your eye doctor will do is talk to you about your medical and vision history. Things like previous medical conditions, eye problems, any current medications you’re taking (including herbal supplements and OTC medicines) and more will all be vital to your eye doctor’s ability to provide you with an accurate diagnosis. The more accurately and honestly you can answer these questions, the better your eye doctor can diagnose and treat you.
Before actually examining your eyes, your doctor will likely have you sit in a chair and look at a chart across the room. You’ll read a series of letters and/or numbers from left to right, and with each row, the characters get smaller and smaller. This test allows your doctor to measure your ability to see objects at specific distances. The result is typically represented by one number over another, with 20/20 being considered “perfect” vision. Anything other than this, and you may require corrective lenses, such as glasses or contacts.
Next, your eye doctor will check your ability to focus on different objects with each eye independently, and then again with your eyes working together. Your doctor may refer to this as the “cover” test since you’ll cover each eye to complete a portion of it. You’ll focus on an object across the room first, then focus on an object near your face. As you do this, the doctor will peer into your eyes and ensure that both eyes can refocus on the target without movement when working independently, and that neither eye moves when focusing on a target as they are working together. Slight abnormalities during this test may indicate a subtle strabismus or a binocular vision problem.
In this exam, the eye doctor will look to see how quickly you can move from fixating on one object to another. He or she will also assess your ability to use only your eyes to follow a moving object. This is one of the most important tests when it comes to diagnosing computer eye strain. Sometimes, when the eyes cannot move together as you type or read text on a screen, it can exacerbate eye strain symptoms. A variety of therapies were designed to help correct issues in ocular motility.
If your visual acuity test reveals that you are either near-sighted or far-sighted, you’ll need corrective lenses to enhance your vision. Refraction testing helps the eye doctor determine the precise prescription strength you’ll need to provide the right level of correction. He or she will place a device called a phoropter over your face and move through a series of lenses, asking you which one allows you to see more clearly. Often, you’ll be asked to fixate on the same chart you used during your visual acuity test. The goal is to help you achieve 20/20 vision through the help of corrective lenses.
Following these basic tests and procedures, your eye doctor will ask you to choose a pair of glasses that you like. If you’ll wear contact lenses instead, you’ll likely be provided with a single “trial” pair to try on. The assistant will ensure that you know how to put the contact lenses on your eyes, and that the contact lenses are the correct prescription for your needs. If any other issues were found, your eye doctor will discuss these with you at the end of the testing and go over his or her recommended treatment plan.
Part of preventing CVS involves keeping your eyes healthy and seeing your eye doctor at least once per year. Being able to see with 20/20 vision has a great deal of impact on your ability to work at a computer without straining your eyes, and your eye doctor can help you achieve those results.