Nowadays nearly everyone has to spend a lot of time in front of a computer which can strain eyes as well as other parts of the body. Talking about eyes, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) can affect anyone sitting in front of the computer screen for prolonged hours, whether at home or at work. Not only computer, all devices with a visual display like tablets, e-readers, smartphones and other electronic devices can cause tired eyes, eye strain and lead to computer vision syndrome.
It has now become the most common computer-related strain injury among workers, surpassing carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Poor lighting, glare, an improper workstation set-up, vision problems of which the person was not previously aware, or a combination of these factors can lead to CVS symptoms over time. The long time people spend on their computers and portable electronic devices these days along with the nature of the digital screens themselves contribute to increased potential for eye strain, compared to reading the same information printed on paper.
Digital eye strain can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. The doctor may take a thorough patient history, work related habits and undertake a detailed refraction to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism).
Some of the ways you can reduce the effects of computer vision syndrome–
Rest your eyes – When using a computer for long period of time take regular breaks to prevent eyestrain. Follow 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This exercise will help you prevent strained near vision and stretch your focusing muscles.
Adjust your viewing angle – The angle of your gaze plays a key role in CVS. For the best angle, the center of the monitor, tablet or phone should be 20 to 28 inches from your eyes and 4 to 5 inches below eye level.
Get Your Eyes Checked – Uncorrected vision problems can add up to eyestrain and computer vision syndrome.
Reduce eye glare – Contrast difference between the background and letters on screen makes your eye strain more. So position your screen to avoid glare from overhead lights or windows and also put a screen filter.
If your problems have become persistent, you should consult an eye specialist immediately for a detailed exam.
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.