In today’s world many of us spend 10-12 hours of our day in front of glowing computer screens. Computers are used for doing almost everything, they improve productivity by making complex calculations simple, but have you ever wondered if staring at the screen for long periods of time can significantly damage your eyes? When we look at computer screens for long periods it can cause pain and strain to your eyes which in some cases may become Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
CVS is not a single specific eye disorder, its a group of eye-related problems including strain and pain in eyes. Statistics show between 50-90% of computer users experience some kind of eye problem. Working adults are not the only ones who are prone to this problem. Kids who play video games on computers, especially games that require high concentration, are likely to experience eye-related problems.
Research show people who use computers a lot have little to no difficulty focusing on things near to them, however far sight becomes blurry.
The most common symptoms of CVS are redness in eyes, irritation or dryness, burning sensation in the eyes, double or blurred vision, shoulder and neck pain, and headache.
While we cannot avoid looking at computer screens, here are some guidelines that can be effective in avoiding symptoms of CVS.
1. Get your eyes checked regularly
We often tend to ignore headaches and strain in our eyes which is an unhealthy practice. If you feel any symptoms of CVS post prolonged exposure to a computer screen, have your eyes examined by an eye specialist to check what is best for your eyes.
2. Adjust the computer
The screen of your computer should neither be too close nor too far from your eyes. The ideal distance between your eyes and screen should be an arm’s distance. Place your monitor so that its center lies 4-8 inches below your eyes. Doing this will allow your neck to relax while you read or type something.
3. Rest your eyes regularly
When you are working on a computer its important to rest your eyes periodically. Take a break every 20 minutes and look at and focus on something far from you. Do not keep your eyes too close to the monitor and stretch your back and neck regularly. If your eyes are feeling excessive fatigue, try to avoid looking at the computer and take a breather.
4. Blink more
Various studies show that as we work on computers we reduce our blink rate which causes problems like dry eyes, burning sensation, and the sensation of gritty eyes. Our average blink rate is 12 blinks per minute. Statistics show that while using computer this rate goes down to 5 blinks per minute. Lower blinking rate leads to dehydration of the cornea which causes dry eyes. Blinking more improves focus along with reduction in pain.
5. Wash your eyes
If your eyes are red and feel strained wash your eyes with fresh water. Doing this will eradicate all the dirt from your eyes and cool them off. It will also hydrate your eyes which will take away fatigue and make you feel re-energized.
6. Proper lighting
Proper lighting also influences the pain that our eyes bear when we work in front of screens. Its recommended to have a light source behind you when you work. Light should not be too dim while you work. Placing light right in front of your computer or bright overhead lighting adds to the strain.