What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) refers to a plethora of symptoms that one may suffer from due to extended work involving focusing on computer screens.
When to Suspect CVS?
If you are spending more than four to six hours in front of computer screens with any of or a combination of any of the below-mentioned symptoms, you may be suffering from CVS:
How to Diagnose CVS?
If one suffers from the problems described above, an ophthalmic examination should be undertaken to make a proper diagnosis and exclude other masquerading diseases. The basics of an eye examination would be:
- Elicit a complete history: to record symptoms, with emphasis on hours of work on computers and hours of near-work. Also, determine the various causes which may be causing the symptoms like health problems, medications, environmental factors that may be contributing to the symptoms related to computer use such as:
- Refractive errors.
- Alignment of the computer screen.
- Seating posture.
- External lighting.
- Poor lighting.
- Glare on the computer screen.
- Viewing distances.
- Multi-factorial causation.
- Deriving the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after performing a dilated retinoscopy and post-mydriatic test.
- Check eye movements and coordination.
How to Treat CVS?
Consultation with an ophthalmologist and ergonomics play the major role in alleviating this treacherous condition. One can follow these methods to get rid of CVS:
- General ophthalmic precautions:
- Anti-glare and anti-reflective coating tinted glasses while using computers.
- Pen push-ups and vision therapy with proper eye-movement, coordination exercises.
- Computer display adjustments: Monitor display settings like brightness, screen resolution can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Fortify it with anti-glare screens.
- It is the 20-20-20 rule folks!: After every 20 minutes of near work, take a 20-second break to focus at an object (a wall-clock for example) 20 feet away. Blink meanwhile and keep your eyes moving.
- Appropriate monitor distance and height: approximately 25 inches from eyes and 5 inches below eye level.
- Ophthalmic consultation: Get your eyes tested annually at least or more regularly if you already use glasses and suffer from the symptoms.
- Lights on: Keep monitors away from external sources of lights to avoid erroneous lighting and glare and maintain proper indoor lighting.
- Be a vertebrate and keep your spine in position: Comfortable chairs with spine support should be used. Chair height should be adjusted, so your feet rest flat on the floor. Your wrists should not rest on the keyboard when typing.
- Blink: Last but not the least, blink regularly to avoid dry eyes. Put a stick note near your work-station indicating “BLINK.” It helps immensely.
Computer vision syndrome is actually a digital eye strain that affects the optical vision and eyesight of an individual due to prolonged usage. One should therefore immediately visit a specialist if one experiences any vision problems. Also, one should avoid prolonged sitting on computers, laptops, and mobiles.
Frequently Asked Questions