Ouch My Neck Hurts!
In today’s technology heavy world new phrases are being coined left and right… today we’re going to talk about “text neck” – which needs little explanation because it is all too common.
Today’s modern technology requires us to hold our head, neck and eyes in positions for extended periods of time that are not healthy in the long run. Dr. Hansraj, a New York Spine Surgeon, says the practice of bending your neck down to look at portable devices, sometimes called “text neck” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery. He suggests you look down at your device with your eyes. Looking down is the natural eye posture we use when reading. This might require you to hold the device higher because extreme down gaze is not comfortable for our eye muscles.
And while correct posture while on cell phones is important, it is imperative we treat desk top computers just the same. They are better for our necks, but harder on the eyes. When we use computers for extended periods of time, we slow our blink rate, which can cause dry eyes. A monitor that is placed too high can also cause the lower portion of our eyes to dry out. Optimally, your computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
Lastly, rest assured that I can help you get that optimum distance into optimum focus with the proper prescription lenses. New technology in eyeglasses has brought variable focus lenses (fancy word for having multiple “prescriptions” all within one lens) with a wide mid range designed to allow the user to keep their head level and lower their eyes and see the computer screen perfectly. This reduces neck strain, eye strain and dry eyes. Goal achieved!
When you come in for your next annual exam, be sure to let me know which devices you use on a regular basis and measure the eye to screen distance before you come to your examination. Don’t forget to mention if you’ve had burning and stinging of the eyes as there might be more to your eye dryness than just computer usage. I can evaluate the tear layers and check the eye tissue for dry spots and recommend the right treatment for you.
I look forward to helping you with your visual and eye health needs!