The result of eye and visual discomfort/problems experienced during or related to computer use. A common occurrence due to increased use of computers, and cell phone messaging.
Causes for Computer Vision Syndrome
- distance between the monitor and your eyes.
- angular position of the monitor in comparison to your line of sight.
- image and background colour on the monitor.
- image brightness, contrast, size on the monitor(CRT screens).
- image quality related to resolution, screen refresh rates and focus of the screen.
- incorrect spectacle prescription given.
- room’s ambience i.e. illumination,air conditioning etc.
Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain
- difficulty focusing on the monitor.
- blurred distance vision after prolonged computer work.
- dry and gritty sensation of the eyes.
- increased light sensitivity.
- double vision.
- tension and aching in the forehead and brow region.
- mild to severe headache.
- neck pain in older users.
Methods to remedy the problems arising from over use of computer and/or cell phone type screens
For every 10 minutes of screen viewing
- Take at least a 30 second break.
- Stop and relax one’s focus by viewing any object at a distance of 6 meters or further.
Blink often to refresh the eyes
- We tend to reduce our blink rate when staring at a screen, albeit: computer, television, movie or cell phone-screens.
- Decreased blink rate result in a drying effect of the eye.
- The white’s of the eye’s will go ‘red’ due to the drying effect.
- Resolve this effect by increased blinking, and if necessary, the use of artificial tear solutions or gels.
Stress relieving spectacles should be used.
- This will allow the focus system to remain comfortable in order to maintain and sustain near range activities at such screens.
- The correct prescription should be used, this is individual specific, therefore a comprehensive Optometric evaluation is necessary.
- Anti-reflection coatings are advisable and necessary, reducing reflections from external sources also allowing distinct increased clarity from the computer monitor. This also applies to the use of cell phone screens.
Adjustment of the ergonomics of the workplace.
Appropriate changes in the workplace will make desk space and immediate working space far more ‘eye and vision’ friendly.
Adjust the monitor.
- Monitors should be placed 40 – 50 cm directly in front of the eyes, but the screen should be at an angle lower to the plane of the eyes (ie the eyes move downward and inward when viewing near range activities, and as such should a computer screen be directly in front of the eyes, on the same plane, or for that matter higher then the plane of the eyes, the muscles surrounding the eyes are straining, by looking up instead of looking down to read. Expect discomfort in the eyes or immediately around the eyes.
- This type of monitor provides an image on the screen that does not ’flicker’, thereby reducing strain.
Position of the keyboard.
- Position directly in front of the monitor.
Glare & Light sources in the workplace.
- Reduce glare and bright light.
- Use white light instead of yellow light.
- Keep light sources off the monitor and away from direct access to the eyes.
- Use covers over windows.
Maintain a clean monitor
- Wipe the monitor regularly.
- Dust particles are attracted to and collect on the monitor thereby adding to the reflection and glare problems one may be aware of.