Digital Eye Strain or “Computer Vision Syndrome”

Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome

Digital eye strain or “Computer Vision Syndrome”

These days nearly every career requires a significant amount of hours working on the computer. The pandemic has pushed more people to work from home, oftentimes leading to a new workspace and therefore new complaints about digital eye strain.

Common complaints

  • Eyes feel tired or strained
  • Vision gets blurry frequently
  • Eyes feel dry, tearing, or irritated
  • Frequent headaches

Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome

  • As we have seen in a previous blog post, the closer an object, the more work your eyes have to do. The long hours focusing at an intermediate distance put a constant strain on your eyes throughout the day.
  • Not wearing the proper prescription, even small amounts, may affect your vision more on the computer
  • The computer screen is very different from printed text as letters are not as sharp, contrast between text and the background may be reduced, and glare or reflections may contribute
  • Viewing distance and angle of the computer or laptop can affect how you see out of your glasses even if they are the correct prescription
  • Posture sitting at the computer may worsen symptoms

Digital Eye Strain

What can be done?

  • Proper glasses or contact lens prescription – your current distance or reading glasses may not be the perfect fit for the computer as it is an intermediate distance. If you see well without glasses, it still may be possible that your eyes are straining to focus on the computer
  • “20-20-2 Rule” – Take frequent breaks every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for about 2 minutes. This should give you a chance to relax your eyes focusing system, remember to blink, and reset your shoulders for better posture.
  • Anti-reflective coating and Blue-light filters – these are added to the lenses of glasses to try to reduce some of the subjective complaints of computer vision syndrome
  • Proper position while you work – the chair should be adjusted so your feet rest on the floor, wrists should be supported when typing, and the computer screen should be 4-5 inches below eye level at about 20-28 inches from the eyes.

If you are having these symptoms, visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate your specific needs and ways to improve digital eye strain. Make an appointment today online or call our office at (954) 726-0204.


Dr. Isabel Carvajal
Dr. Isabel Carvajal
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

How young is too young for Contact lenses?

How young is too young for Contact lenses

How young is too young for Contact lenses?

Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which are regularly used by eyecare professionals to correct vision. Many parents inquire as to what age children can start wearing contact lenses, and there is no exact answer to this question. The doctor, parent and child can discuss the following considerations

Reasons to consider contact lenses:

  • Is the child responsible enough? – because contacts are a medical device, they need careful cleaning and care. Will someone be available to help the child?
  • Cosmetics of contacts vs. glasses – some kids worry about the appearance of glasses or others prefer how they look in glasses
  • Sports and activities – many patients who play sports prefer to wear contacts which are easier to wear with hats, helmets, goggles, sunglasses, etc.
  • Do glasses need to frequently be replaced due to breaking? – many kids rough house or play sports that can damage spectacle frames frequently, in this case contact lenses may be beneficial
  • High or uneven prescriptions – these can cause lenses to be thick and glasses to be heavy for children. If the prescription is uneven between the eyes it can also cause different image sizes which are difficult to bring together as one.
  • Is their nearsightedness getting worse every year? – nearsightedness (or myopia) is usually progressive in children unless managed. Often multifocal contacts or Orthokeratology can be used to try to slow myopia progression.
  • Are there allergies present? – ocular allergies may be worsened with contact lens use. It is important to be evaluated and treated for allergies if present. Many patients still do well with contacts as long as their allergy symptoms are managed.

Our doctors have been successful in fitting many children in contact lenses with careful monitoring from parents. If you or your child have considered trying contacts for one of the above reasons, you can discuss contacts with your doctor to see if they are a good fit. We will discuss the care, cleaning, insertion and removal process at your contact lens fitting appointment.


Dr. Gustavo Garmizo, FAAO
Dr. Gustavo Garmizo
FAAO Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

Don’t sit so close to the TV (or computer, or tablet, or cellphone)

Don’t sit so close to the TV (or computer, or tablet, or cellphone)

It is a phrase that many people have heard a parent say before, but may not understand completely. The importance of how close we look at objects cannot be stressed enough in young children.

Your child may want to sit close to the TV (or other objects) if they have uncorrected nearsightedness (or myopia). Myopia means your eyes naturally focus in front of you leading to blurry distance vision. Therefore kids may be moving closer to the TV in order to clear up the image by finding their natural focal point.

Why is this important?

  • The most important idea to realize is your child may need correction (glasses or contacts) to see clearly at all distances
  • Research has shown 41.9% of children in the U.S. are myopic and myopia is progressive in nature
  • Increased near work including computers, reading, cellphones, and tablets has been proven to speed up this progression of myopia.

What does science tell us about our working distance? 

In general, the closer an object is to us, the more accommodation or “work” our eyes have to do. A recent study published shows how much more work our eyes have to do when looking at a paper compared to viewing trees outside (See Figure 1). You can see the significant difference in accommodation on the right side when looking outdoors compared to reading a document. If children are working all day at a desk alternating between computer and paperwork, their eyes never get a chance to fully relax.


Figure 1: The first column on the left shows some images we regularly see. The second column in the middle correlates the intensity of light to the distance from our eye (the brighter light the greater the distance). The third column on the right transforms the distance into Diopters (or the measurement of how much accommodation your eyes are doing).  Reference

Chart 2

Figure 2. Recommendations on screen time from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What should I do now?

  1. Get outside and play – limit screen time as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This can help reduce the amount of work your eyes have to do and reduce the stimulus for progression of myopia
  2. “20/20/2 Rule” – Take frequent breaks when doing any near work for extended periods of time. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for around 2 minutes. This will allow your eyes to relax their accommodation, allow you to blink, reset your posture and return to work with less strain on your visual system.
  3. Find out if your child is myopic – it is best to find out early if myopia is present to act quickly to try to reduce progression. Make sure children have eye exams at 6-12 months, 3-5 years, before starting school and every year after as recommended by the American Optometric Association Clinical guidelines.
  4. Discuss myopia management with your eye doctor – there are many techniques to reduce progression of myopia including eye drops, soft contact lenses, and Ortho-K.

Contact your eye doctor today if you want to discuss myopia and myopia control – make an appointment today online or call our office.


Dr. Brianna Rhue
Dr. Brianna Rhue
FAAO Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

What is pink eye?

What is pink eye

The term “pink eye” is commonly used to describe any red eyes. It should be used to describe a viral conjunctivitis but is often confused for bacterial conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, or other common causes of red eyes.

Causes of pink or red eyes:

  • Viral conjunctivitis: a viral infection in or around your eyes is causing your eyes to try to fight the virus
    • Common symptoms include redness, tearing, irritation, fever, runny nose, sinus congestion, and sore throat.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis: your body is trying to fight a bacterial infection in your eyes.
    • Common symptoms include redness, thick discharge, irritation, and tearing.
  • Uveitis, Iritis, Iridocyclitis: There is inflammation in your eye which may be an overreaction to a common threat by your body or due to an autoimmune disease causing excessive inflammation.
    • Common symptoms include redness, pain, and sensitivity to light
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis: an allergen is causing irritation to your eyes and your body is trying to remove the allergen
    • Common symptoms include redness, tearing, itching
  • Dry eyes: If eyes become severely dry, the surface of the conjunctiva can become rough and irritated leading to redness
    • Common symptoms: dryness, burning or stinging sensation, gritty feeling, foreign body sensation, tearing, redness
  • Other causes of redness: 
    • Foreign body underneath the eyes, contact lens overwear, corneal abrasion, corneal ulcer, elevated intraocular pressure, fungal infection, pingueculitis, pterygium, etc.

It is important to be evaluated by your eye doctor to determine the best management to try to resolve or treat your specific red eye condition quickly. If you think you may have “pink eye” or red and irritated eyes, book an appointment online or call our office at (954) 726-0204.


Dr. Isabel Carvajal
Dr. Isabel Carvajal
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

5 Benefits of getting a Retinal Photo at your Eye Exam

5 Benefits of getting a Retinal Photo at your Eye Exam

5 Benefits of getting a Retinal Photo at your next Eye Exam

Retinal photos are a relatively new technology in the eyecare field but have shown to be very helpful in providing great patient care and careful monitoring. The Optomap machine takes images which provide an unprecedented 200 degree view that enables doctors to more effectively detect, monitor and promote patient health.

5 benefits of retinal photos

  1. No dilation – Most of the time we can get a good image in both eyes and view nearly all of the retina without dilation. It takes ½ a second to take the photo and has no lasting effects on vision. On some occasions with a poor quality photo or suspicion of possible problem, dilation may be required by your doctor.
  2. Education – There has never previously been a way for the doctor to show the patient exactly what we are evaluating. As a patient the photos allow you to learn more about a diagnosis by visualizing the exam findings.
  3. Disease detection – The optomap is an excellent tool for diagnosing diseases. As you can see in the photo, a wide variety of diseases can be found and documented with the retinal photos.
  4. Monitoring changes over time – Even if everything is normal in your eye today, the photo is a great reference if the doctor believes something has changed over time. They can always look back or compare photos side by side. Imagine not knowing if a mole has grown or changed, but then having an old photo to evaluate.
  5. Safe for all patients – retinal photos can be taken safely and effectively on every patient from young children to pregnant women (which may not want dilating drops).

Schedule your yearly eye exam today online or by phone and request an optomap retinal photo!


Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

What options do I have for dry eyes?

What options do I have for dry eyes

What options do I have for dry eyes?

Dry eyes can be due to a variety of reasons including not blinking often enough, side effects of medications, changes in hormones, seasonal weather variations, or other systemic diseases.

Some symptoms often associated with dryness include:

  • Irritated, gritty feeling
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Mild pain
  • Excessive tearing (trying to make up for dryness)
  • Foreign body sensation when blinking (may be due to clogged glands along the eyelids)

Tips to try to improve dry eyes at home:  

  • Take frequent breaks when doing near work to consciously blink. Studies have shown us that we do not blink as often when focusing on computers or reading. Taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away and blink for 20 seconds allows our eyes to relax reminds us to consciously blink.
  • If dryness is due to clogged glands which produce your tears, you can consider doing warm compresses once or twice a day. Simply wet a clean wash cloth with warm water (not too hot to burn yourself), and place the washcloth on your eyes for a few minutes (making sure it is touching your eyelids). Then massage your eyes by putting mild pressure on the eyelids close to the eyelashes.
  • Using artificial tears can be helpful to supplement our natural tear production but are often just a temporary relief.

What can your eye doctor do to help: 

  • Assess your dry eyes to see what factors may be contributing
  • Discuss and collaborate with your primary care doctor to consider other causes or associated symptoms
  • Prescribe medication eye drops to treat the inflammatory aspect of dry eyes
  • Consider inserting punctal plugs which are used to reduce tear drainage and keep your natural tears on your eye for longer to increase moisture.
  • Fit specialty scleral lenses in some cases when medically necessary which allow saline to stay on the eye and provide long lasting comfort

While you can consider starting some of these options at home, it is important to have your eyes evaluated to determine the best course of action. You can schedule your appointment online or call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms and the most appropriate management.


Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

How Ortho-k Improves Your Sight As You Sleep

How Ortho-k Improves Your Sight As You Sleep
Some 12 million people over age 40 in the US have some vision impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 7% of kids have a diagnosed eye condition. If you’ve dreamed of having better vision, dislike wearing glasses or contacts, or have learned that LASIK isn’t your best bet, you may want to consider orthokeratology or ortho-k. The series of customized lenses improve your vision while you sleep.Our qualified experts at West Broward Eyecare Associates are pleased to offer this nonsurgical therapy for qualified candidates. Read on to learn about ortho-k and its benefits.

Ortho-k basics

For ortho-k, your provider fits you for specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses. You’ll wear these custom lenses nightly while you sleep, which is when they work their medical magic. By gently reshaping the front surfaces of your eyes, you’ll see clearly the following day. While the benefits may last another day or even a bit longer, we recommend wearing the corrective lenses every night for the best results.

Ortho-k lenses are designed for two purposes:

  • To correct refractive issues, such as nearsightedness and, in some cases, farsightedness
  • To reduce the progression of myopia in kids

Benefits of ortho-k

Ortho-k can provide a range of benefits for suitable candidates. Because you wear the lenses only at night, you won’t have to deal with contact lens issues or wearing glasses during the day–which some people find cumbersome or annoying. Ortho-k can also provide an alternative to laser surgery if you’ve been told that you’re not a good candidate or don’t want to go “under the laser” for a LASIK procedure. And if your child has progressive myopia or nearsightedness, ortho-k lenses can help keep the condition from worsening.

Getting started with ortho-k

To get started with ortho-k, one of our experts will measure the curvatures of your corneas—your eyes’ outer surfaces—using a special tool known as a corneal topographer. This quick and painless process allows us to customize your treatment plan, which will include numerous sets of temporary contacts. You may notice some discomfort when you first start wearing ortho-k lenses, but over time, you’ll likely barely notice them.

Gradually, as your prescription changes, we’ll let you know when to switch to your next pair. Most people end up with their ideal vision within three sets of ortho-k lenses. Because results vary, it’s essential to stick to your plan, stay in touch with your provider, and follow their guidance.

Learn much more about ortho-k and whether you’re a good candidate by calling West Broward Eyecare Associates or booking an appointment using our online scheduler. We would love to help you find the best way to improve your vision.


Dr. Brianna Rhue
Dr. Brianna Rhue
FAAO Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

Tips for Lens fogging and Mask-associated Dry Eyes

Covid Mask and Glasses

The pandemic has brought a wide range of changes to our everyday life and new challenges for our patients to overcome. The necessity to wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID has created entirely new problems for our eyes and vision.

Lens fogging:

As you may know by this point, the use of masks to avoid transmission of respiratory particles during this pandemic is essential. Conversely, breathing out warm air and droplets which can no longer disperse in the air are often directed upward towards the eyes. The water vapor in the breath condenses on the cooler surface of the lenses leading to a blurry image (think of the shower door steaming up).

Ways to reduce lens fogging:

  • Make sure your mask fits well – select a mask that can mould to your nose, often with a small, bendable metal strip
  • Clean lenses with soapy water – the soap can lead a thin film on the lenses which makes it more difficult to fog up. You want to let the lenses air dry or dry with a microfiber cloth. Be sure not to use abrasive soaps or abrasive rubbing to be sure not to damage the lenses.
  • Seal the mask – some have tried double-sided tape on the inside top edge of the mask to ensure a tight seal. Be aware this could cause skin irritation or allergy.
  • Try de-fogging products – An anti-fog wipe is sold at West Broward Eyecare Associates. Be sure to ask your doctor.
  • Consider switching to contact lenses

Mask-associated Dry Eyes

Eye doctors were already aware that regular air blowing on the eyes tends to dry them out more frequently. We have regularly seen cases where car air conditioning vents pointed towards the eyes, overhead fans, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines cause dryness. If all day long we are breathing out into a mask that is preventing the air from dissipating into the air, oftentimes the air seeps out the top of the mask leading to dryness.

Ways to deal with Mask associated dry eye:

  • Make sure your mask fits well – as stated above, mould the mask to your nose to reduce the air that can exit the top of the mask
  • Take breaks to blink – especially when working on the computer, breaks every 20 minutes allow you to rewet the surface of your eyes as we often forget to blink when focusing for long periods
  • Apply lubricating eye drops – these can be found at most drug stores, but may not be a permanent fix
  • Discuss with your doctor about other techniques to help!


Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Dr. Sara Rasekhi
Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

How does COVID-19 affect the eyes?

Does COVID-19 affect the eyes

How does COVID-19 affect the eyes?

Much has been talked about regarding the wide variety of symptoms associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While we are still learning about the various systems in our body that can be affected, we are just beginning to understand how the disease affects the eyes.

Recent research has shown us that the virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets and can be absorbed or spread through the surface of the eye. This is because the eyes are the only area of our body that are completely exposed to the environment (not protected by skin). It is important to be aware of signs that could be associated with COVID-19.

Ocular symptoms that have been reported:

  • Red eyes – redness can be due to a viral cause (like COVID-19), bacteria, allergies, dry eyes, or a wide variety of other causes.
  • Excessive tearing – may be associated with any inflammation or infection in the eyes. Oftentimes the eyes will tear up because they are trying to remove something irritating them, whether that be an eyelash, allergen, or a virus.
  • Others that may be associated: discharge from eyes, eye rubbing in children

What does the Optometrist see if you have covid?

  • Conjunctivitis – general term for inflammation of the conjunctiva, or top layer on the “white” of our eyes.
  • Follicles – bumps on the inside of the eyelid often associated with viral infection
  • Epiphora – clinical term for excessive tearing
  • Swollen lymph nodes- the lymphatic system is one of the ways your body helps fight infection. You have nodes in front of your ears and below your jaw that can become swollen with a viral infection.

Can it be treated?

There are no treatments for viral eye infections. We can help diagnose and soothe the eyes as we can only treat symptoms associated. The most important thing is to be evaluated and confirm a diagnosis of viral conjunctivitis to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 and isolated.

Reach out to your eye doctor if you think you have irritated, red, watery eyes to be evaluated. Schedule your appointment online or call our office.


Dr. Brianna Rhue
Dr. Brianna Rhue
FAAO Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates

Is this an Eye Emergency?

Eye Emergency

Many patients wonder what eye problems are considered emergencies and which can wait to be evaluated. Some of our patients may require a visit to the Emergency room while others can be treated at your eye doctor’s office.

There are multiple very serious causes of visual changes or symptoms that you can experience which is why it is important for us to review.

Emergency Eye Problems

  • Loss of vision (blacked out vision) – If, at any point, your vision goes completely black (in one eye or both) you need to see your eye doctor immediately or go straight to the emergency room. DO NOT WAIT. This could be due to a variety of causes, of which many are serious and possibly life threatening.
      • Retinal detachment: may see flashes or floaters, may see curtain of black/lost vision coming over the vision
      • Impending stroke: sudden vision loss (which may return to normal) could mean a blockage in the blood flow to your eye and brain. Go to the ER immediately.
  • Flashes or floaters – this is a sign that the retina is being disturbed and could mean a retinal detachment is happening. Call or visit your eye doctor immediately. If there is an after hours number, contact them but if you are unable to reach your eye doctor, go to the emergency room.
  • Worst headache of my life – headaches by themselves can be caused by everything from stress to tumors. If you are experiencing a headache worse than you have ever had, you need to go to the emergency room. Do not hesitate. You may need additional testing to rule out serious causes.
  • Sudden decrease in vision (blurry) – If there is any sudden change to your vision that is significant, make an appointment to see your eye doctor the same day. Some causes for sudden blurry vision may be a bleed inside the eye, fluid in the retina, swelling of the optic nerve, or inflammation inside the eye.
  • Severe pain – any significant pain in the eye or behind the eye should indicate you need to see your eye doctor immediately. Some causes may be spike in intraocular pressure, corneal abrasion, fluid or pressure behind the eye

*Any of these symptoms require immediate attention or an emergency room visit. 

Urgent Eye Problems

  • Redness – could be due to infection, inflammation, foreign body, dry eyes, subconjunctival bleed, allergies
  • Mild-Moderate Pain – could be due to inflammation, abrasion, stye, pressure behind the eye
  • Mild-moderate Irritation – could be due to dryness, foreign body in the eye, inflammation
  • Slightly blurry vision – if vision slowly or suddenly decreases slightly, this could be due to mild fluid in the retina, corneal edema, or dryness
  • You got something in your eye – whether it be an eyelash, dirt, shampoo, or a chemical the best thing to do is flush your eye with artificial tears or water and call the office. Usually these can be treated at your eye doctor, but if after hours or on the weekend, an emergency visit may be required.

*Urgent symptoms may or may not require an urgent visit to the eye doctor. It is best to call the office and discuss your symptoms to determine the best course of action. 

This list does not include every symptom that requires an urgent or emergency visit. If you feel like something significant changed in your eyes or vision, either contact your doctors office or visit the emergency room. There is no risk in being evaluated, but waiting could possibly lead to damage or vision loss.

If you feel like you have an urgent or emergent problem, contact our office at 954-726-0204.


Dr. Gustavo Garmizo, FAAO
Dr. Gustavo Garmizo
FAAO Board Certified Optometric Physician
West Broward Eyecare Associates