Desk-bound folks may find themselves glued to computer screens day in and day out. Staring at monitors too long not only affects the muscles and joints below our neck, our eyes can also be damaged leading to CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)
64 to 90 percent of office workers suffer from CVS recognizable as tired and strained feeling eyes. The most common symptoms of CVS are eye strain, redness, irritation, and dryness, a burning feeling in the eyes, blurred or double vision after prolonged computer use, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain. It does not cause permanent eye damage, but it can definitely affect our comfort.
Factors which contribute to increase the likelihood of CVS are uncorrected vision problems, dry eyes, glares on the screen, poor lighting, poor posture, and even the angle of the monitor, incorrect prescriptions (71 percent of people reporting symptoms of CVS wear eyeglasses or contact lenses).
How to deal with CVS
The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of the face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its centre is four to eight inches below the eyes, which allows the neck to relax while we read and type.
Have your eyes checked regularly. Using a computer will be difficult if you need a new or changed prescription and don’t have it.
Ensure proper lighting. Try the visor test (look at the monitor and cup the hands over the eyes, like a baseball cap. If the eyes immediately feel better, then change the lighting). Experiment with brighter and dimmer lighting, as well as the angle of the lights, to find what’s most comfortable for the eyes.
Installing anti-glare filters on the monitor, adjusting window shades, and changing the screen’s contrast and brightness can help reduce glare and reflections.
Follow guidelines for good posture. It’ll reduce strain on the back, neck, and shoulders.
To prevent dry eyes blink frequently and if it is not working consider lubricating eye drops. Make sure that air vents are not blowing on the face and use a humidifier if the room is dry.
Take regular work breaks. After every 15 minutes, stretch, or just look off into the distance, away from the computer.
Clean the monitor regularly. Dust can decrease screen sharpness, making the eyes work harder.
Try computer glasses. Unlike everyday eyewear, they’re designed specifically for looking at computer screens
Consider Optometric Vision Therapy. Glasses or contacts can’t correct eye focusing or coordination for some patients. Vision therapy consists of doctor-prescribed activities designed to improve visual functioning.