What Is Computer Vision Syndrome? Do You Suffer From It?

08 May 2021

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Computers are the new reality of life. The advancement of technology, the evolvement of work from home and the never-ending pandemic have made computers an essential item in our lives. Whether you are a working professional or a student, laptops and computers have become inevitable. But what are the consequences of such prolonged hours spent on the computers? We’ll see here. 

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)? 

Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS has become rather common in the current lifestyle. It is not any particular disease, but rather a cluster of eye and vision-related problems that occur due to excessive exposure to digital screens. Also known as digital eye strain, it may cause eye problems such as eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes, double vision, headaches, etc [1]

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What Are The Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome? (1) (2)

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain in neck and shoulders
  • Headache
  • Backache 
  • Dryness in the eyes
  • Eye itching
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Blurry-vision
  • Double-vision
  • Myopia or nearsightedness
  • Trouble in focusing
  • Eyestrain

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What Are The Causes Of Computer Vision Syndrome? (1) (3)

  • Poor sitting posture while working on the computer
  • Wrong viewing angle and improper distance between the eyes and the computer
  • Ocular diseases or vision problems
  • Poor lighting of the computer and the surroundings
  • Poor resolution and contrast of the computer screen
  • Screen glare
  • A slow refresh rate of the computer screen

How Do You Prevent CVS? (1) (4) (5)

Sit In A Proper Posture While Working On The Computer:

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of CVS. It may cause headaches, eye strain, backaches, stiffness in the neck, etc. Proper posture ensures an optimum distance between the computer and the eyes as well as the proper angle to view the computer. 

Sit up straight while working on the computer, keeping your shoulders relaxed. It is advised to sit on a comfortable chair while using computers. The distance between the eyes and the screen should be around 35-40 inches and the correct angle to view the screen is when the screen is placed 10-20 degrees below the eye level. Try to adjust your screen placement in this manner and you may be able to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome.

Take Short Breaks And Blink Frequently:

CVS is a result of the prolonged use of computers. One of the easy ways to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome is to avoid continuous use of computers. Try to take a break every 2 hours for 15 minutes. During this break, don’t use any other digital screen. Give your eyes the much-needed rest. You can also follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to readjust the focus and take a break from the screen. 

Blinking is extremely important while using computers. Remind yourself to blink frequently. It generates mucus in the eyes and prevents dry eyes. Who knew blinking could be this effective!

Adjust The Settings Of The Computer:

Stop using the factory settings and adjust the brightness and contrast as per your comfort level. Ensure maximum visibility through changes in the settings. But remember brightness and contrast should be in accordance with the light in the room and the surroundings. 

Fix Screen Glare:

The light coming from lighting fixtures or other surrounding items can sometimes reflect light off your screen. This will cause screen glare. This may lead to eye fatigue and headaches. You may add a screen glare filter to your computer screen to avoid that. Additionally, you may take care of the lighting in your surroundings by closing the blinds whenever required, adjusting the lighting fixtures accordingly, etc.  

Use Proper Corrective Glasses:

If you have myopia or presbyopia, make sure that you use the proper corrective glasses. Your prescription needs to be absolutely correct, otherwise, it may deteriorate your ocular health and may also cause eye strain and headaches. 

Lubricate Your Eyes With Eye Drops:

Lubricating eye drops can prevent dry eyes by keeping your eyes moisturised. Always consult a doctor before using that. They are very effective in preventing and treating CVS.

If you spend a lot of time staring at your computer screen, look out for the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. The preventative measures mentioned here will not just prevent CVS but also cure the basic symptoms that you might have. Bring certain changes in your lifestyle and workspace and feel the eye strain lift off your precious eyes.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4170366/
  2. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-and-vision-conditions/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y
  3. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/c/computer-vision-syndrome.html
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome#solutions
  5. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome

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