Worldwide, more than 70 million people are facing the impact of computer vision syndrome, and these numbers are likely to increase. A report written by eye care specialists in Nigeria and Botswana, the writers shows an list of professionals that are risk or may even have attracted CVS — bankers, engineers, students, graphic designers, publishers — “those who cannot work without the help of a personal computer.”
Not even counting the millions of children and adults that slave their day in front of a computer playing computer games.
Recent studies shows that between 70 and 90 percent of people whether they are using their computers for work related matters or just passing time playing games that they may have one or more symptoms reflecting Computer Vision Syndrome. Extensive use of a computer is certainly not only vision related but patients also complain about extensive headaches,neck and shoulder pain.
Nigerian Author, Tope Raymond Akinbinu and Y. J. Mashalla of Botswana, cited four studies showed that just by using a personal computer for a minimum of 3 hours per day can lead to vision problems, headaches, back and neck pain and even psychological stress.
Burning, itching, redness and dryness of the eyes is still the most common symptoms related to computer vision syndrome.
One of the most problematic reasons for eyestrain is due to the constant unconsciously switching of the eye between screen and relaxation point on the screen. This is caused by the characters on the screen which is made out of pixels, these characters have blurred edges, even though it cannot been seen by the naked eye, making it more difficult to focus on an exact spot.
Studies also show that blinking of the eyes reduces from 17 to about 12 and 15 blinks per minute, causing dryness and eye irritating.
Distance between computer monitor and your eyes also play an important role reducing the risk of CVS. A 20 to 26 inches distance between monitor and head should give your eyes a more comfortable focusing point. The closer you sit to the monitor the harder your eyes have to work to properly focus on a specific point.
A good practice to lessen eye strain is to position your eyes to the top of the monitor which lessen the eye exposure from the monitor surface which decrease the openness of the eyes. According to the University of Pennsylvania’s ophthalmology department this will allow the neck to be in a more relaxed position, decreasing neck pain.
Posture also plays an important role in neck, back and shoulder pain. Sitting in an uncomfortable position can cause strain in neck, back and shoulder muscles. Position yourself upright preferably in a chair that has a support structure for you to lean against. Always remember to place both feet flat. Investing in some sort of fitness equipment that you can use in the office during work hours can also help with stress, neck, shoulder and back pain.
Another problem that most of us seems to ignore is improper lighting. The darker the screen the more relaxed your eyes will be. Eye strain is dramatically increased due to highly focused light that is positioned over the monitor and even direct sunlight signing at the screen.
Re-position your desk out of direct sunlight, the use of a dimmer switch for your overhead lighting, an anti glare screen or wearing glare reducing tinted lenses can dramatically reduce maximum glare.
Use a font size that you are comfortable with and get your eyes examined at least once a year. Visual performance changes with age so this is very important for people older than 40 and children that make use of a computer most of the day. Frequently clean the monitor with an anti-static dust cloth and use a high resolution display monitor which should provide a crisper image.
Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome is most important but what if you already show signs or symptoms of CVS? Ophthalmologist’s advice people that already show signs of CVS to perform the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes take a 20 second break looking at something 20 feet away.
Also try to blink as much as possible to help the constant lubrication of the eye surface. The use of eye lubricants such as eye drops can also help with reducing redness, irritation and eye dryness.
Humidifiers can also help with keeping dry air circulating in a room. These humidifiers add moisture to a room helping with eye strain and fatigue.
Computer Vision Syndrome is not life threatening but reduce quality of work at a tremendous speed if not properly treated. Please share this article with as many people as you can and help the fight against CVS.