Computer Vision Syndrome

Symptoms such as eyestrain, eye fatigue, dry eyes and headaches are some of the symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).  Some may experience neck and back aches as well.  Millions of computer users suffer from CVS because it is the number one office-related health complaint.  All computer users should have a computer eye exam to determine if prolonged computer use puts excess strain on their eyes and be tested to see if they would benefit from computer glasses.

Proper lighting is important since excessive light from windows or too many bright lights inside can increase eyestrain.  This can be reduced by use of drapes on windows and by using fewer light bulbs or lower intensity light bulbs.  Glare coming from the computer monitor and walls and finished surfaces contribute to eyestrain as well.  Using an anti-glare screen on your monitor, decreasing the brightness on your computer screen, painting walls a dark matte finish and applying anti-reflection coating to your glasses can be very helpful.  The use of artificial tears may be helpful for dry eyes and irritation associated with CVS.

Did you know computer use can reduce our blinking rate up to 5 times compared to when we are not using a computer?  It is also advised that we take 10 minute breaks every hour and keep our focusing system flexible by focusing on a distant object for 10-15 seconds every 30 minutes.

Your workstation should be set up as follows: Your monitor should be 20-28 inches from your eyes; the top of your monitor should be horizontally in line with your eyes (thus your eyes are looking 10-20 degrees downward from the straight ahead position) and your reference material should be on a copy stand or document holder next to your screen illuminated by a desk lamp.  Seeing your eye care professional can greatly reduce your CVS symptoms and make computer use a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

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