If you have eye discomfort, headache or vision changes that don't improve with self-care, make an appointment with your doctor.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- List any symptoms you've been having and for how long.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions with which you've been diagnosed and all medications and supplements you're taking.
- Keep a daily log of the time you spend on activities that strain your eyes, such as working in front of a computer monitor, prolonged reading or exposure to glare.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Below are some basic questions to ask a doctor who is examining you for eyestrain. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- What is the most likely cause of my signs and symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- What changes could I make to my work or home environment, including my computer desk, to help reduce symptoms?
- What other self-care measures should I be taking?
- When should I return for a follow-up appointment?
- Should I see a specialist?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to talk about in depth. Your doctor may ask:
Sept. 19, 2012
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first notice these symptoms?
- Have your symptoms changed over time?
- How severe is your discomfort?
- Does anything in particular seem to trigger your symptoms, such as computer use or exposure to glare?
- Does anything help relieve your symptoms, such as taking a break from the activity that strains your eyes?
- When was your last vision exam?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- What medications are you currently taking, including vitamins and supplements?
- Computers and your eyes. Prevent Blindness America. http://www.preventblindness.org/computers-and-your-eyes. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Rosenfield M. Computer vision syndrome: A review of ocular causes and potential treatments. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 2011;31:502.
- Eye health tips. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips.asp. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Computer vision syndrome (CVS). American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x5374.xml. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Computer vision syndrome symptoms. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x5375.xml. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Computer workstations. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/components_monitors.html. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- The effects of video display terminal use on eye health and vision. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x5380.xml. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Computers. Division of Occupational and Health Safety. http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/sr/dohs/HealthAndSafety/Ergonomics/atwork/Pages/ergo_computers.aspx#topSEE. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Tribley J, et al. Tips for computer vision syndrome relief and prevention. Work. 2011;39:85.
- Yan Z, et al. Computer vision syndrome: A widely spreading but largely unknown epidemic among computer users. Computers in Human Behavior. 2008;24:2026.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2012.
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