It is said to affect almost 90% of the people spending 3 or more hours a day in front of a computer.
Computer Vision Syndrome Causes
CVS is caused because our brain and eyes react differently to characters on computer display compared to characters in print. It is difficult to focus eyes on computer images because they have ill-defined edges towards which the eyes drift (resting point of accommodation), making focusing on them difficult.
Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome
Symptoms can be dry eyes, redness in the eyes, blurred vision, eye strain, fatigue, headache, double vision, back pain, neck pain, polyopia, difficulty in focusing the eyes. These symptoms can be exacerbated by bright overhead lighting or glare, or air from a fan moving across the eyes.
Treatment and Prevention Of Computer Vision Syndrome
Artificial-tear solutions can counteract the dry eyes. Eye strain is relieved by resting the eyes. Periodic blinking of the eyes gets the tear film going. Looking occasionally at a distant object or the sky provides rest to eye muscles.
Go by the 20-20-20 rule, which says that every 20 min, look at an object at 20 ft for 20 sec. Alternatively, close the eyes every half an hour for 20 seconds. If problem persists, visit an ophthalmologist for prescription of eyeglasses. Pay attention to the work environment such as proper lighting, comfortable seating arrangement etc.
Flat-panel LCD computer screens are better for the eyes because of less glare and flickering of images. Larger the display screen the better, such as a 19 inches or more display screen diagonally.
Adjust the display settings (in the Control Panel in Windows) for brightness, contrast, text size, color temperature. Take regular breaks from computer work and do some stretching exercises to avoid shoulder, neck and back pain.
As already mentioned, ergonomics (that is, customizing equipment, workplace and job to suit the individual worker) need to be paid attention to. This will reduce the incidence of back pain, neck pain, and other spine, muscle and joint problems.
Sit in front of the computer with head and neck upright, avoid looking at the computer with the back twisted or head at an angle. Keep the elbows relaxed. Chair should be supporting the lower back. Have the mouse at a comfortable distance.
Keep the display screen such that its top is slightly below or at about eye level. Do not lean forward while reading text on computer by adjusting the position of the monitor.
Adjust the monitor to cut out glare and reflections of lighting in the room. Keep the print documents on which you are working at the same level and distance as the computer screen. Adjust the height of desk and chair so that arms and legs are positioned comfortably.
Nowadays even children are spending lot of time in front of computers. Therefore, they too can suffer from computer vision syndrome. Same rules apply for adults, with the additional provison of restricting the number of hours they spend on the computer.
They should be encouraged to engage in alternative activities such as outdoor sports to distract them from spending time on computers.
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