Be it for work or studying, most of us spend a major part of our day in front of the computer. And with that, Computer Eye Strain too has become commonplace. Almost every day our eyes feel fatigued, dry, and irritated by staring for long hours at the computer screen. If you too feel the same, then you are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
How Computers Affect your eyes and Vision?
While working in front of a computer, your eyes continuously focus and refocus. As you read the words on the screen, your eyes move back and forth. Often, you have to look at other documents while working and switch your eyes between that document and the computer screen. While you do that your eyes respond to changing images on the screen to create so that your brain can process whatever you are seeing with your eyes. These tasks put much strain on your eye muscles. The flicker, glare, and contrast of the computer screen make things worse.
You may face more problems if you are already suffering from an eye problem. With age, working in front of a computer screen gets difficult as the lenses in your eyes begin to lose flexibility. Around 40 years, your eye’s ability to focus on near and far objects will start to diminish.
Computer Vision Syndrome: Symptoms
CVS affects both adults and kids. Children nowadays spend most of their time in front of the computer. This affects their vision at a young age and may hamper the normal development of eyesight. The common symptoms
Prolonged computer usage may affect the normal development of your child’s eyesight.
Look out for these symptoms to see if your child is having CVS:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Dry, itchy and irritated eyes
- Increased light sensitivity
- Eye strain and fatigue
- Redness in the eyes
- Difficulty in focusing
- Gradual deterioration of vision
- Headaches, backaches, neck pain
- Difficulty in shifting focus from the monitor to any other object
Here are a few tips to treat Computer Vision Syndrome:
1. Get your eyes examined
First things first- get your eyes checked if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. This is the most important thing that you must do at the first place. This is the first step for preventing any eye issue. Moreover, those who work on computers must get their eyes checked once in a year. During the test, do not forget to inform your eye doctor about how often you use a computer at work and at home. Also, measure the distance between your eyes and the computer screen and inform the doctor about that measurement and see whether it’s appropriate or not.
2. Do not put the computer monitor near a window
Additional light and glare is the biggest source of eyestrain while working on a computer. Ideally, the computer shouldn’t be anywhere near the window but if it’s still there then ensure that there are curtains and blinds in the window to control the intensity of light throughout the day. Do not face and un-shaded window when working on a computer or laptop. The difference of brightness of the screen and the outdoors may cause eye stress. Use an anti-glare screen for reducing reflections.
3. Adjust the height of your monitor
Maximise eye comfort by placing the centre of the computer screen about five to nine inches below the horizontal line of sight. Ideally, you should be looking just over the top of the computer screen in the straight line of your sight.
4. Adjust the display of your computer
This is very important for minimising eye strain and eye fatigue. Modify the display setting of the monitor. This will help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Change the brightness of the display so that the brightness of your display is same as the surrounding workstation. Also, when you are reading long documents on a computer, modify them so that while reading, you have black print on a white background.
5. Rearrange your desk
The best position for your monitor is just a bit below eye level and about 20 to 28 inches away from your face. It must be at a distance where you do not have to strain your eyes or stretch your neck to see what’s there on the screen. If you are looking simultaneously at another document, place it at the level of the monitor, just beside it. In this way, you do not have to look up and down while you work.
6. Consider the Colour temperature
The colour temperature of your display is important. The blue light of the visible spectrum of light has a short wavelength and causes more eye strain compared to colours of longer wavelength such as red and orange. Reduce the colour temperature of your display. This will reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the monitor, giving you viewing comfort.
7. Give your Eyes a much-deserved break
The eyes cannot see at a close distance for long hours. Give them a break. You may follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20-minutes and look at any object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. While you do that, move your eyes and see at different objects at various distances.
8. Blink, Blink, and Blink
It’s sad but true that we often forget to blink while looking at the computer screen. What most of us do is a partial lid closure or blink less frequently. Blinking moistens our eyes and helps prevent dryness and irritation. The tear coating on our eyes evaporates quickly and can cause dry eyes. Moreover, due to air-conditioning system, the air in many offices is dry. This hastens the evaporation process, thus exposing you to greater risk of dry eye problems. In case you have this problem, visit your doctor. He/she might give you artificial tears. Do not confuse them with lubricating eye drops. Such drops tend to reduce the size of the blood vessels in your eyes, making it appear clear. Do not use anything without consulting the doctor. Try blinking slowly, as you do while falling asleep. Do this 10 times. This might help in wetting your eyes.
9. Use Proper Lighting
Proper lighting is extremely important for reducing eye strain. Too bright and too low light will strain your eyes. Excessive light from the outdoor is tough for the eyes. So try to reduce outside light while working. Avoid overhead lighting. Instead, use floor lamps to provide indirect lighting. This will help in comfortable viewing. If you work in too low light, the computer screen may glare at your eyes. You have to balance the lighting.
10. Get Computer Glasses
Prescription eyewear specially designed for computer work may help you focus well on the screen. Also, this helps in reducing glare and computer eye strain. If you use eye glasses, then talk to your doctors and get it customised. If you wear contact lenses, it may become dry and uncomfortable from sustained usage. In that case, getting customised eyeglasses for computer work is the best. This is also beneficial for people who wear bifocals or progressive lenses. Since these lenses are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen so using computer glasses is a good choice.
11. Take frequent breaks
A headache, pain in eye and neck and shoulders are also symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. For reduce pain, the best way is to take frequent breaks during working. If you prefer to take one long break during the entire workday, do not do that. That’s not going to help. Taking frequent mini-breaks of four to five minutes work wonders in reducing discomfort and eye strain. And if you think that taking frequent breaks will affect your productivity then it’s right. It will affect but in a positive way. The less you feel fatigued, the more you can focus on your work. While taking breaks, stand up and move. You may take a short walk around the office or just stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, and back. This helps reduce muscle fatigue and tension.
12. Do not forget your Vitamins
If you have eye health issues then your doctor may prescribe you necessary vitamins. Do not forget to take them. Eat food rich in Vitamin A. This is important for a healthy vision and reinforces the macular tissues in your eyes, thus, keeping your vision clear and sharp. Food items rich in Vitamin A include cheese, egg yolk, milk, and butter.
13. Minimize glare
Glare on the walls and finished surfaces and reflections on the computer screen may also result in eye strain. Install anti-glare screen on your monitor. Consider painting the walls in darker colour or cooler shades in a matte finish. You may use glasses with a lens having an Anti-reflective coating. This also helps in minimising glare.
14. Do not hold digital devices closer to the eyes
People who hold digital devices closer to the eyes than they would if they were reading a book or any other printed material, they are at greater risk of straining their eyes. Digital devices emit blue light that causes eye strain and when you hold them closer, it puts more stress on your eyes. So whenever you are using a smart phone or tablet, try to hold them as far as possible from your eyes. You may try enlarging the print for comfortable reading.
15. Install a Humidifier
Most of the offices are air-conditioned. This makes the air much drier and dry air make your eyes dry. You may try keeping some real plants in and around your work area. You may also keep air humidifier. This helps in increasing the air humidity. Artificially controlling the humidity of your work environment helps reduce eye strain.
Make it a point to visit your eye doctor regularly for check-ups. The eye is a delicate organ and it’s important to take proper care of it for enjoying good vision and preventing any eye condition. Also, keep your prescriptions up to date. If you have any eye problem or experience any change in symptoms, let your doctor know about that. Do not wear fancy glasses or experiment with coloured contact lenses readily available in the market. Consult the doctor before using one. It’s up to the doctor to decide whether you can wear your regular glasses or contacts for computer work or whether you need a special pair. Get your kid’s eyes checked too. Ensure that you limit their computer usage and that they are using computers under proper light.
Eye Hospital in Kolkata
If you have an eye related problem or want to consult an eye specialist regarding Computer Vision Syndrome, you may book an appointment with our specialists.Make it a point to visit your eye doctor regularly for check-ups. Eye is a delicate organ and it’s important to take proper care of it for enjoying good vision and preventing any eye condition. Also keep your prescriptions up to date. If you have any eye problem or experience any change in symptoms, let you doctor know about that. Do not wear fancy glasses or experiment with coloured contact lenses readily available in the market. Consult the doctor before using one. It’s up to the doctor to decide whether you can wear your regular glasses or contacts for computer work or whether you need a special pair. Get your kid’s eyes checked too. Ensure that you limit their computer usage and that they are using computers under proper light.
If you have eye related problem or want to consult an eye specialist regarding Computer Vision Syndrome, you may book an appointment with our specialists.