Know Your Eyes | Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome is characterised by a group of eye and vision-related complications resulting from prolonged usage of computers, cell phones or any other digital devices. Most individuals face discomfort in the eye and problems with vision while viewing digital screens for an extended time period. Also known as Digital Eye Strain, the level of discomfort experienced during this syndrome increases with the amount of digital screen use.

What are the indications of Computer Vision Syndrome?
Although, there is no proof that computer use can cause long-term damage to the eyes. But regular use may lead to strained eyes and distress.

You may have experienced at least one of the following symptoms of computer vision syndrome:
• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Dry eyes
• Eye irritation
• Headaches
• Shoulder or neck pain

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

There are numerous factors that influence the amount of strain the body feels while working on a digital device or computer, which includes the lighting in the room, glare on the screen, seating posture, distance from the screen and the angle of your head. As you age, the computer work gets harder and the eye lenses become less flexible. Somewhere around age of 40, your ability to focus on near and far objects will start to go away called presbyopia.
The eyes focus and refocus all the time while you work on a computer and move back and forth. The eyes react to changing images on the screen so that the brain can process whatever you’re seeing. This causes a strain in the eye muscles, and unlike a book or piece of paper, the screen adds contrast, glare and flicker.

How can you prevent yourself from Computer Vision Syndrome?

1) Reposition the desk: Place the monitor such that the screen is slightly below eye level, and about 28 inches away from your face. You shouldn’t have to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to see what’s on the screen.

2) Minimise the glare: Modify the lighting around you, in order to reduce the effect on your computer screen. If there is a window nearby that causes glare, either change the position or close the shades. Alternatively, you can also add a glare filter to your monitor.

3) Eye exercise: Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes and look at something around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Blink your eyes often, to keep them moist. Try some eye drops, in case they feel dry.
Alter system settings: Until you find what works best for you that keeps the eye strain at a minimum, keep altering your settings, by adjusting the brightness, contrast and font size. You don’t have to live with the factory-installed presets if you’re uncomfortable.

4) Consult an eye specialist: It is advisable to consult your eye specialist regularly for an exam. If you face any of the symptoms, make it sure to let the doctor know. In case you need glasses or contact lenses, he should inform you about the same.

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