These unprecedented times have offered mixed blessings:
While social distancing keeps us apart, social networking brings us all closer
from the safety and comfort of our homes. But according to Dr. Samantha
Slotnick, a behavioral optometrist in Scarsdale, NY, this increased screen time
comes with a new set of physical and cognitive demands that can interfere with
our ability to keep our nervous system—and our visual system—in balance.
There are several signs and symptoms of increased visual
stress, Slotnick says. Some are more obvious, like increased eyestrain, tension
and/or headaches; intermittent blurry vision; and a tendency to lean in close
to computer screens and mobile devices. But others are subtler, like increased
shoulder and neck discomfort; difficulty maintaining concentration; and
re-reading material for comprehension.
During the height of the pandemic, Slotnick shared her
holistic approach to vision care with her optometric colleagues in a series of
lectures presented worldwide. She then distilled them into an article to help
clinicians in all health fields understand the impact of stress on the use of
one’s visual field, and on eye-focusing, eye-teaming and eye-movement skills.
She calls that cumulative effect the Sympathetic Overdrive Cascade.
In a grassroots effort to support members of her
community, Slotnick also created a webinar presentation of self-help exercises
and strategies to alleviate screen-based visual stress. That webinar is now
available at DrSlotnick.com/diffusestress
Dr. Samantha Slotnick has offices at 495 Central Park
Ave, Ste. 301, Scarsdale, NY. For more information, call 914.874.1177 or visit Dr. Samantha Slotnick.