Relieve Computer Eye Strain with Tips from Local Eye Care Experts

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
relieve computer eye strain, Newburyport MA 01950

It is important to know what you can do to relieve computer eye strain. Many of us have jobs that require up to eight hours a day in front of a screen and we usually accrue more screen time when we get home! Such a significant portion of our day spent hunched over a keyboard can take a toll on our body and our vision. In fact, Computer Vision Syndrome can cause headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, and shoulder or neck pain.

Computer ergonomics can relieve computer eye strain. Computer ergonomics is the science of designing a work environment to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries. Here are a few tips from Watts Eye Associates to reduce eye strain and other computer-associated issues.

  1. Sit with your head and neck upright and aligned with your torso.
  2. Always face your screen directly. Avoid having your back twisted or viewing your screen with your head turned.
  3. If you wear glasses, position yourself so you comfortably view your entire screen without tilting your head.
  4. Keep your mouse close to your keyboard so you aren’t constantly reaching for it.
  5. Try to get your computer screen so the top of the screen is at or below eye level. This will reduce the strain on your neck.
  6. Make sure your screen is the right distance from your face. It should be about an arms’s length away.

Give Your Eyes A Break

Tired eyes can lead to headaches, fatigue and decreased productivity. Remember:

  • The 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to rest and refocus.
  • Mini breaks. Take 15-minute breaks from your computer screen twice a day. Stand up, stretch, and walk around.
  • Simple eye exercises. A few times a day, stretch your extra ocular eye socket muscles by rolling your eyes in all directions.

Try these tips to keep your eyes happier at work and relieve computer eye strain. 

Prevent Blindness Caused By Diabetic Eye Disease

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
Prevent Blindness Caused by Diabetic Eye Disease, Newburyport MA

Did you know that diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults? Did you also know that often times there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced? High blood sugar is the major culprit of eye problems and the longer you live with the disease, the greater the risk. Three major eye problems to be concerned about are cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

A cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye that is normally clear and affects the clarity of your vision. Anyone can get a cataract, but people with diabetes tend to get them at an earlier age and with progression of the cataract occurring at a faster rate.

Glaucoma is a condition when the fluid inside the eye does not drain properly and leads to an excess of pressure inside the eye. That pressure can damage nerves and blood vessels in the eye causing vision impairment. In people with diabetes there is a higher risk of glaucoma due to high blood sugar.

Retinopathy is damage to small blood vessels or fluid leakage in the eye. Retinopathy is also the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Many studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between high blood sugar and retinopathy.

So what can be done? Is diabetic eye disease inevitable? Thankfully, there are two major things you can do.

The first is controlling your blood sugar which often times requires lifestyle adaptations- easier said than done. An integrated approach of working closely with your primary care physician and/or endocrinologist as well as other specialists is a great start. They can help you understand how diabetes affects your body and what you can do to prevent complications.

The second thing you can do is to make sure you have an eye exam every year. Your optometrist is a key player in your eye health. Diagnosing eye disease right away is crucial to getting early treatment. Your appointment with your optometrist will include taking a medical history and a full eye exam. Here at Watts Eye we pride ourselves on having the most up to date technology. We have the ability to take imaging of your eyes that is non-invasive and only takes seconds. By using our Opto Map machine and Ocular Tomography machine, retinal scans are done within moments, allowing our doctors to see the health of your retinas immediately. Often times our doctors are able to review the results with you as part of your exam.

Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Glasses or Contacts

By Dr. Chad McDonald, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Optometrist and Partner in Watts Eye Associates, Dr. Chad McDonald is an expert in the eye care field with over 18 years of experience with Watts Eye Associates. Dr. McDonald, a graduate of University of New England and New England College of Optometry, completed his residency with Boston Medical Center and Mass Eye & Ear and furthered his education in comprehensive care for the visually disable at the Lighthouse Center in NYC. In 2013 Dr. McDonald became Newburyport's first Board Certified Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. He is also a member of the Mass Society of Optometrists and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Senior Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member of the New England College of Optometry and still finds time to serve on the board and be a past president of the Newburyport Lions club serving as chair of the much loved Bed Race during Yankee Homecoming week.
Watts Eye Associates
Help your child adjust to glasses or contacts, Newburyport MA

Looking for some advice on helping your child adjust to glasses or contacts? While corrective lenses have vastly improved in terms of technology and style over the past few decades, it’s not always easy for kids feel comfortable with their new eyewear. Here are few ideas to help your child make the transition.

Get in the right “frame” of mind. Glasses shouldn’t just look good – they should feel good, too. Make sure that the pair your child falls in love with is also comfortable to wear and fitted properly. When Watts Eye Associates notifies you that your glasses are ready for pickup, bring your child to the office and we’ll make sure they fit just right helping your child adjust to glasses more easily.

Update your morning routine. Up, dressed, glasses, breakfast! By incorporating new glasses into your family’s morning routine, you’ll help your child remember to put them on without making a big deal about it.

Celebrate new glasses as an important milestone. Seeing better makes everything better – why not celebrate these positive changes with your child? Turn office visits into treats with a special activity or reward at the end. Remind your child of all the benefits of improved vision and glasses will seem more like a gift instead of a chore.

Don’t forget the coolness factor! There are plenty of celebrities whose look wouldn’t be complete without their signature pair of glasses or shades. Find out who among your child’s heroes wears glasses (there’s bound to be one), and pull up some pics on your phone or computer.  This and other positive associations are sure to help your child adjust to glasses.

Consider contact lenses. There are plenty of reasons why contacts should be considered, even for younger kids. For example, contacts are important for kids who play sports, or for those who have difficulty keeping track of glasses. Many kids find that a combination of glasses and contacts.

Vision care products are making constant advancements, and Watts Eye Associates offers the most current options.  Bausch & Lomb BioTrue contact lenses, for example, use the latest technology to help eyes breathe and stay moisturized.

Watts Eye Associates works hard to ensure that all of our customers enjoy a better quality of life thanks to top-quality, comfortable eyewear. For kids, this often means giving them an important tool to excel in school or sports. Make an appointment today to help your child see and feel better thanks to our committed, expert staff of optometrists and clinicians.