Computer Vision Syndrome

In this age of digital technology, computers, smart phones, LED, LCD TVs and i-pads, most of us find ourselves spending hours together reading tiny text from the illuminated little screens of these gadgets. The result? A wide range of eye problems like eyestrain, headache, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain just to name a few.

Poor lighting in the room, very high screen brightness, sitting too close to the screen, poor posture are the causes of eye strain. Dr. Kelkar, NIO Eyes says that CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome) affects about 90% of people who spend 4 hours or more a day at a computer. As we read intently from the computer screen, we often forget to blink. This causes ‘dry eyes’. Normal blinking renews the tear film and lubricates the eye surface and prevents any dry spots forming on the cornea. “So the first thing to do is to remember to blink normally. Humans blink 11 to 14 times in a minute. Lowering the blink rate is the main cause of irritable eyes”, Dr. Kelkar informs. Lubricating eye drops are also of immense help, she says. They are easily available over the counter. Some ‘preservative free’ formulations too are available and recommended for long term use.

Many of the visual symptoms especially redness and dryness or eye strain are only temporary and will reduce if the user limits his use or learns the correct ways of using the computer. While all these machines are here to stay, we must learn how to use them wisely! Children should be taught proper usage of computers and their use should be limited as well as monitored by parents.

The computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level and at least 20 to 28” (inches) from the eye. The room should be adequately lit. Else, ‘Glare’ filters can be attached in front of the screen. Sit comfortably with back supported and feet firmly touching the ground. Support your arms while typing on the keyboard. Proper posture goes a long way in preventing back pain, muscle soreness, neck stiffness etc. Take short timed breaks and focus at a distance for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes helps reducing eyestrain. If discomfort still persists it is advisable to visit a reliable eye care clinic.