It’s a truly twenty first century disease. Its a technology driven rising health concern issue. With the increasing use of computer display screens, CVS is inevitable and unavoidable. Frequently fluctuating or blurring of vision, tired eyes, eyestrain, redness are some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome
CVS is caused by our eyes and brain reacting differently to characters on a computer screen then they do it to printed characters. Our eyes have little problem focusing on printed material that has dense black characters with well defined edges. But characters on a computer screen don’t have the same degree of contrast definition.
Words on a computer screen are created by combinations of tiny points of light (pixels) which brightest at the centre and diminish in intensity towards their edges. This makes it more difficult for our eyes to maintain focus on these images. Instead, our eyes want to drift to a reduced level of focusing called resting point of accommodation, RPA. Our eyes unwillingly move to the RPA and then strain to recover focus on the screen. This non-stop flexing of the eyes and focusing the muscles creates fatigue and eyestrain that commonly occurs during and after computer use. Another cause is reduced blinking. When we look at the computer screen we tend to blink less than what we should. This leads to burning of eyes and burning, itching, etc…
Symptoms of computer vision syndrome
If one spends more than 2hrs/day in front of a computer screen, its likely that he will experience some degree of CVS. Symptoms of CVS include headache, loss of focus, burning eyes, tired eyes, double vision, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain.
How does your vision affect your body?
As you age your eyes will develop a condition called presbyopia. This means for people in their 40’s or older, the computer screen gets a little fuzzy even with glasses. Trying to read a fuzzy screen can give you a headache.
Where do the other aches and pains come in?
They are often caused by trying to read the screen through the bottom portion of bifocals or through half-reading glasses. You tip your head up or lean forward to see and this unnatural makes you sore.
How to prevent CVS?
To reduce your risk of computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome, consult an eyecare professional who specializes in computer vision care. Use of antiglare screens, computer eye glasses (multifocal lenses, single vision lenses, tinted glasses,ARC coated lenses), postural adjustment can reduce computer related eye strain effectively and increase computer work productivity.
Computer glasses: Need or necessity
When studies suggesting that most computer users experience some level of eye discomfort from computer work , it’s reasonable to say that most people who work on a computer more than a couple hours daily could benefit from computer eyewear with the correct prescription.
10 steps for relief:
- Get eye test done.
- Blink your eyes more often and keep them lubricated.
- Exercise your eyes by looking away from the computer every 20 minutes at 20 feet distance for 20 seconds
- Take frequent breaks.
- If you wear progressive or bifocal lenses position your screen lower in relation to your eyes.
- Position the top of the monitor just below a level horizontal with your eyes. Tilt the top of the screen away from you at 10-20 degree angle.
- Use proper lighting.
- Minimize glare on your screen.
- Upgrade your display-use a LCD screen.
- Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen to be same as your work environment.