Computer Vision Syndrome
Computers have become an essential part of life. Every one, in one or other situation needs to use the computer. Since the computer is involved with vision and the eyes, its use affects the eyes.Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include headache, tiredness, and irritation of eyes, dryness of eyes, redness, heaviness and sometimes watering.
Causes Of Computer Vision Syndrome
Dryness of eyes due to moniter light and reduced blinking. Monitor emits light which causes evaporation of tear film from the eyes. Tear film is a thin film of liquid which covers the surface of the eye. This liquid wets the eye and nourishes it. If it is depleted eyes become dry and irritable.
Normally we blink about 15 times per minute. Blinking is essential as it reforms the tear film which breaks up before the blink. Blinking occurs involuntary without our knowledge. During computer usage blink rate reduces as we are focusing on the monitor. This reduced blinking exposes the eye surface to environment for more than normal time. Thus the tear film gets evaporated, leading to dryness.
Less contrast and small fonts make the eyes to stress more to see clearly. This stress causes headache and tiredness.
Steps To Reduce THe SymptomsThe only way to totally get rid of symptoms is to stop computer usage which is not possible in today’s life. The following 10 steps would reduce the symptoms to a major extent.
- STEP 1 : COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMINATION
Get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist at least once in a year.
- STEP 2 : USE PROPER LIGHTING
The room lighting should not be very bright or dark. Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes.
STEP 3: MINIMISE GLARE
Glare on walls and finished surfaces as well as reflections on computer screen also can cause eye strain. This glare can be minimized or eliminated by use of good quality anti reflective coated (ARC) Lenses like CRIZAL UV.
STEP 4: UPGRADE YOUR DISPLAY
Replace old style CRT monitor with a flat panel LCD monitor. Old style CRT monitor causes flicker of images which are a major cause of eye strain. Also choose a large display monitor (at least 19 inches).
STEP 5: ADJUST YOUR COMPUTER DISPLAY SETTING
Keep the brightness low and contrast high. Do not use backgrounds which make the visibility of letters less. Use letters of reasonable font size.
STEP 6: BLINK AND REST
Blinking is very important when working on the computer. Blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. Since involuntary blinking is reduced during computer use, you should try to voluntarily blink more frequently. To reduce risk of dry eyes during computer use, close your eyes for 30 seconds after every 30 minutes of computer use. This replenishes the tear film which got evaporated during computer usage.
STEP 7: EYE EXERCISES
Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To prevent your eyes from getting tired by constant focusing on the screen follow the “20-20-20” rule. Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Looking at far object relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eyes to reduce fatigue.
STEP 8: TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
To reduce risk of computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent breaks every two hours. Do gentle neck exercises during these breaks.
STEP 9: MODIFY YOUR WORK STATION
Your computer should be 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The centre of the screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.
STEP 10: USE COMPUTER EYE WEAR AND MEDICATION
For greatest comfort while computer usage, use glasses with “anti reflective coating” like CRIZAL UV or CRIZAL PREVENCIA which reflect light emitted from the monitor and thus reduce stress on the eyes. Use lubricating eye drops. They correct dryness by keeping the surface of the eyes moist.