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Computer Vision Syndrome — A 21st Century Health Menace

Are you someone who works on the laptop for prolonged periods, or who is a voracious e-reader or even someone who has the habit of staring at the phone screen or tablet for long durations?

Do you experience dryness and itchiness in your eyes coupled with sudden headaches? You may be suffering with ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’ or ‘Digital Eye Strain’.

The topmost occupational hazard of the 21st century, Computer Vision Syndrome may affect 70% of all the computer users. According to the experts one of the foremost reasons for this could be due to the fact that while reading a book or looking at a paper we blink at an average rate of 22 times per minute, but while gazing at a laptop, mobile or e-reader screen the blinking diminishes to 7 times per second. To top it all, people who use computers for their jobs on an average spend seven hours a day in front of the glaring screen. It is no wonder that eye health has become a major concern for people.

Causes and Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

The most common factors that lead to Computer Vision Syndrome include the glare of the digital screen, improper gazing distance, workplace lighting, poor sitting posture, not taking frequent breaks from gazing at the screen, and pre-existing untreated vision problems.

A combination of all these factors can lead to symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome such as strained eyes, headaches, dry and itchy eyes, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain due to poor posture or long hours of sitting.

Computer Vision Syndrome Is Reversible

According to the doctors, the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome can be alleviated by following a simple 20–20–20 rule.

That is, take a break of 20 seconds, after every 20 minutes of working at the computer screen, to look at something 20 feet away.

Following this simple rule itself will help alleviate the intensity of the symptoms. Added to that a few other adjustments can help to completely eradicate the symptoms such as:

· make it a point to consciously blink more while working at the screen

· the distance between your eye and the computer should be approximately 20 inches-30 inches

· place the top of the monitor in a way that it is lower than the level of your eye i.e., at an angle of about 15 degrees

· increase the font size of the documents you work on so that you do not need to strain your eyes to see

· adjust the brightness to reduce the glare of your computer screen

· keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water else the continuous viewing of the computer screen can lead to dry eyes

· you can use eye soothing masks such as aloe vera eye masks which will reduce eye strain and keep your eyes cool

· go for regular eye-checkups, at least once a year is mandatory for people who continuously work with computers

Your eyes can darken or brighten up your world. Make sure you treat them right by taking care of them.

To know more details about how to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome or how to reverse it please see: What are the causes & preventive measures for Computer Vision Syndrome?

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