Computer Vision Syndrome

Digital device screens such as computer monitors and Smartphones are a common cause of eye strain. People who look at these screens for more than two hours at a time, every day, are the most likely to experience eye strain. Looking at a computer screen is more likely to strain the eyes than looking at printed material because people do not tend to tend to blink as much while using a computer screen, which helps to keep the eye moist. There is also poor contrast between the background and text and the screens give off glare or reflection.

Referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome or Computer Stress Syndrome, it involves the manifestation of variety of symptoms such as eye strain, headache, and may at times be indicated by indirect symptoms such as neck, shoulder, back and wrist pains, general fatigue and decreased visual efficiency.

What can I do to prevent computer vision syndrome?

  • Stop periodically to blink, stretch and look away from the computer screen
  • Sit approximately 24 inches away from the screen; sitting too close or far may increase eyestrain.
  • Arrange room lightening such that glare on the screen is minimum. Use of anti reflective filter would be a good choice.
  • Check your posture from time to time to reduce neck, shoulder and wrist pains. Keep the wrists straight while typing and not supported on sharp edges.
  • After every 20 minutes of work look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes periodically, prefer the use of preservative free tears.
  • Do eye exercises whenever possible – Close eyelids and roll the eyes behind your closed lids once clockwise & once anti-clockwise. Take a deep breath & open eyes while releasing breath.