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Squinting at computer, tablet, or mobile screens for hours at a time is a normal part of our lives in the 21st century. Unfortunately, eye problems associated with this activity are also on the rise. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed computer vision syndrome symptoms after two or more hours of screen time. Signs include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain and discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Dry, scratchy eyes
  • Neck and/or shoulder pain

Even if your symptoms are mild, they can worsen and cause other vision problems if not addressed. Our optometrist, Dr. Wallace, can help.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome

The severity and length of computer vision syndrome symptoms depends on how long you stare at the computer, your posture, lighting, glare, the angle of the monitor, and whether or not you have other diagnosed or undiagnosed vision problems. If you already suffer from astigmatism, farsightedness, presbyopia, aging eyes, and/or diabetic eye problems, your computer vision symptoms may worsen. This can even be the case if you already have prescription contacts or glasses. Many regular eyeglasses and contact lenses are not designed to deflect the problems caused by computer screens.

Dr. Wallace will take your symptoms, pre-existing conditions, and potential undiagnosed conditions into account as he performs the following eye tests:

  • Visual acuity—Measures the quality of your current vision.
  • Refraction—Tests the potential lens prescriptions that would optimize your vision.
  • Focus and Eye Coordination—Tests how well your eyes work together and how quickly and accurately your eyes are able to focus on objects and varying distances.

From these measurements, Dr. Wallace can design a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms. For people with otherwise normal eyes and vision, a set of specially-designed glasses used during the time you are working on the computer can be very helpful. For patients already wearing contacts or glasses, new, more computer-friendly prescriptions are available. In addition to these treatment options, there are many things we can suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems:

  • Computer setup—Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated between 20-28 inches away from the screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between the monitor and keyboard, or to the side, but positioned for as little head movement as possible. Also invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to help reduce glare from surrounding lights. Be sure to sit and work with proper posture.
  • Adjust Lighting—If you can, reposition any lighting (or your computer) to minimize glare and use natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Eye Rest and Blinking Breaks—Every 20 minutes during your work, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes, and give them a 15-minute break after each 2-hour computer session. Also remember to blink more frequently to keep your eyes moist.

With a combination of the proper optometry care and self-care, you can minimize computer eye syndrome and other modern-day vision problems. Contact us for an appointment today.

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Dr. Tihomira Petkova

Dr. Tihomira Petkova is a therapeutic optometrist and optometric glaucoma specialist practicing in Humble, Texas

Dr.PetkovaDr. Tihomira Petkova received her Doctor of Optometry and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2012. She gained extensive experience in the diagnoses and treatment of ocular diseases during her externships and practice at the University Eye Institute, Good Neighbor Clinic and La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center and practicing at TSO. Dr. Petkova is certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Texas state Optometry Board. As a therapeutic optometrist she is actively involved with the management of dry eyes, ocular infections and allergies. She is also an optometric glaucoma specialist who has gained most of her clinical experience in Houston while diagnosing and managing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration. She also co- manages LASIK and Cataract surgery patients with local ophthalmologists.
As a scientist Dr. Petkova seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in retinal development and optic nerve regeneration and has completed post-doctoral fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical College and Baylor Medical College. She has presented her work at multiple international research conferences and is a published author of research articles and a book chapter. For her contributions to vision research Dr. Petkova has received multiple rewards amongst which most notably are the American Optometric Foundation Ezel Fellowship and Fight for Sight Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Petkova’s primary focus in patient care is is always clear communication with each patient and providing comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages.
Dr. Petkova lives in Houston with her husband and daughter she is an avid cyclist, an amateur artesian bread baker and a supporter of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony. She is fluent in Bulgarian, proficient in Russian and has knowledge of medical Spanish.

Dr. Crosby Wallace  received his Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from The University of Texas, Masters Degree in Public Health from The University Of Texas and also received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. Dr Wallace is licensed as an Optometrist / Glaucoma Specialist by the Texas Board Of Optometry. 

Dr Wallace was an Optometry intern the United States Navy where he received a letter of Commendation for outstanding performance of duty from the Commanding Officer, Naval Medical Clinic. 


"You consistently demonstrated outstanding clinical skills and knowledge as assisted in the care and treatment of military beneficiaries. Your devotion to your profession and your patients was demonstrated through numerous patient expressions of satisfaction with the thoroughness and quality of care you rendered. It gives me great pleasure to extend my sincere appreciation for a job "well done" and wish you continued success in all your future endeavors". - R L Finke, Captain, Medical Service Corps, United States Navy

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New patients receive 15% OFF sunglasses.

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Testimonial

Dr. Wallace was very attentive and answered all of my questions and concerns. He even was able to convince me into new bi-focal contacts, which are great.

Kevin W.
Houston, TX

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