Computer Vision Syndrome
Computers are probably one of the biggest scientific inventions of the modern era, and since then they have become an integral part of our life. The increased usage of computers have lead to variety of ocular symptoms which includes eye strain, tired eyes, irritation, redness, blurred vision, and diplopia, collectively referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS may have a significant impact not only on visual comfort but also occupational productivity since between 64% and 90% of computer users experience visual symptoms which may include eyestrain, headaches, ocular discomfort, dry eye, diplopia and blurred vision either at near or when looking into the distance after prolonged computer use. The generic name of “Computer vision syndrome”, it is defined by the American Optometric Association as a complex of eye and vision problems related to the activities which stress the near vision and which are experienced in relation, or during, the use of the computer . The symptoms of computer vision syndrome may vary depending on several factors which includes amount of time spend, viewing distance, seating posture, level of computer screen, and underlying visual acuity disturbances if any. Treatment of computer vision syndrome involves proper identification of the etiologic factors and correction of visual errors if existent. Special attention should be paid to ergonomic factors like correct posture in the chair, lighting arrangement, antiglare screen on the computer and establishing proper working habits.
What is eye strain?
The term eye strain is frequently used by people to describe a group of symptoms which are related to use of the eyes. Eye strain is a symptom, not an eye disease. Eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading, or working at the computer. If you have any eye discomfort caused by looking at something for a long time, you can call it eye strain.
Although eye strain can be annoying, it usually is not serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. In some cases, signs and symptoms of eye strain are a sign of an underlying eye condition that needs treatment. Although you may not be able to change the nature of your job or all the factors that can cause eye strain, you can take steps to reduce eye strain.
5 Tips to curb your screen habbits:
The average human being blinks 20 times a minute – but only 7 times a minute when using a computer. The longer the eye remains open between blinks, the more likely the cornea is to dehydrate, burn or ache. Blink often to keep the eyes moist. It washes your eyes in naturally therapeutic tears.
2. Look Away.
For every 20 minutes that you spend watching television, reading, or working on the computer, stare at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. Better yet, take a 10-minute bathroom break at least every two hours, even if you don’t have to go. Walk there, back or anywhere, letting your eyes idle. Hey, chit-chat with a co-worker while you are at it and ask them how they are doing!
3. Eye Exercises.
Bring an object (such as a pen) as close to your eyes as possible while still being able to focus on the object clearly, then focus on an object 10 feet away from you. Repeat this exercise for 3 to 5 minutes several times per day.
Roll your eyes upward towards your eyebrows, and then roll your eyes in a large circle. Repeat every few hours when using your computer or watching television to combat Computer Vision Syndrome.
4. Try Palming.
Palm your eyes by covering them with the palms of your hands, blocking out the light completely for 1 to 3 minutes several times a day.Palming is one of the most relaxing things you can do for your eyes. Jeff, one of Home Cures That Work and Barton Publishing’s valuable contributors, can testify that he knows exactly what it feels like to have strained eyes and what to do to remedy CVS.
5. Monitor and Screen Changes.
If you found that you are feeling dizzy after being on the computer all day, but subsides after you stop using the computer, only to come back the next day as soon as you get back on the computer, then turn down the brightness on your screen.
In addition, position your monitor so you are looking down, not up. Tilt your screen slightly downward, so its center is about 4 to 8 inches below eye level. Then, you need to sit at least 65cm away from your computer screenbecause sitting close requires the muscles in your eyes to work harder.
Computer Vision syndrome Q&A
Q: What to do about tired eyes from too much reading and computer? — Teachers from Salter Elementary, Talladega, Alabama
A: This is really a common problem nowadays. See your eye doctor and get a computer vision correction that will help you focus more accurately and with less effort. When prescribed properly, these glasses also can help you read printed material with greater ease, and the lenses can have tints and coatings to make your eyes feel a lot better!
Q: Is it necessary for adults and children to wear special eye protection when working on the computer? Is such protection necessary if vision correction spectacles are being used? — M.V., India
A: No. According to the experts, computer screens do not emit enough harmful rays to cause eye damage.
Q: Recently my vision has become increasingly light sensitive, and when I read, sometimes the words will appear to magnify, then demagnify. Occasionally it seems distance vision is blurred after doing close work. Is this computer vision syndrome, and what should I do about it?
The magnify/demagnify thing when I’m reading is my biggest concern. My ophthalmologistsaid he’s never heard of this symptom. Thank you. — B.O., Pennsylvania
A: Yup, I think you nailed it on the head. Sounds like computer vision syndrome to me. Your focusing difficulties are really common to those who spend a lot of time staring at a screen.
Q: Can your eyes and face get burned by computer monitors?
A: No. If they could, you’d see a lot of red-faced and red-eyed people.
Q: The whites of my eyes are not white. They often become red when I work hard (such as read a book or use a computer).
I am 39 years old. I’m Thai, but now I stay in Belgium to study. Could this be caused by the change in climate? Should I go to buy eye drops? — R.M., Belgium
A: Your redness could be a sign that you are having trouble focusing comfortably. Have your eyes examined to see if you should wear eyeglasses to alleviate near vision stress.