Computer vision syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is a serious problem for the millions of people who spend hours in front of a computer every day. In most cases, symptoms occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform the task.
Why should I be aware of this?
- With more and more people using computers at work, computer-related eye strain has become one of the major health complaints. Studies show that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 percent to 90 percent of computer workers.
- These problems can cause physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of work errors.
All about computer vision syndrome
Healthy eyes can easily maintain focus on the printed page. But the characters on a computer screen are made up of several small dots, or pixels on which the eyes cannot easily focus. The difficulty in focusing and the constant efforts lead to fatigue and burning eyes, a sore neck, sore shoulders and a sore back.
One of the major contributory factors to computer eyestrain is excessive bright light from outside or from interior lighting is one of the major causes of CVS. Glare from walls reflecting on the computer screen is another major cause.
- Double vision or Diplopia
Under this condition a person sees two images from a single object. The images may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Although many other reasons for double vision, like head injuries, intoxication from alcohol, staring too long at your computer screen may cause double vision.
- Dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome (DES) or simply dry eyes is an eye condition caused by decrease in tear production or increased tear film evaporation. This is caused by staring at the computer screen for long periods without blinking.
- Temporary nearsightedness
In temporary nearsightedness or shortsightedness nearby objects are seen clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. Corrective lenses can help correct this condition.
- Photophobia or decreased tolerance to light
Under this condition there is excessive sensitivity to light. There is an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure.
- Eye Strain
Intensely focusing on computer screen causes eye strain or asthenopia. This is an eye condition that manifests itself through nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, and pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache and occasional double vision.
What can I do?
- Wear a pair of computer glasses when working
- Blink, breathe and break. Blink more often, take frequent deep breaths, and take a short break every hour
- Use artificial tears for dry or irritated eyes
- Adjust light levels to reduce screen glare
- Increase font size on your computer screen
Preventing CVS in children
You can do the following to prevent computer vision syndrome in children.
- To ensure that there is no glare on the computer screen, windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor. Close curtains or blinds to reduce the amount of light coming through your windows.
- Place the monitor and keyboard according to the size of the child and should not be placed too high. Use an adjustable chair, if necessary. The screen should be tilted slightly downward at a 15-degree angle.
- Watch for signs of fatigue in your child. Children often tend to ignore feelings of discomfort and should be encouraged to take frequent breaks.
Get your child’s eyes examined to detect any hidden conditions that may cause eye strain.
- Computer vision syndrome is estimated to be 40 times more common than Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, another health condition affecting computer users.