- By: Dr. Shachi Srivastava
Computer vision syndrome is also known as Digital eye strain which results because of prolonged use of computers, laptops, mobile phones and I pads. In today’s scenario, we cannot imagine our lives without these digital devices, however their prolonged use is associated with lots of problems.
When we use these devices for long periods then we can not only develop visual problems but postural problems as well. When we look into the screen of computer, mobiles etc for a long period then we develop eyestrain, difficulty in focussing from near objects to far objects, dryness in the eyes as well as neck and shoulder pain due to wrong seating positions.
Those people who already have uncorrected refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia may develop worsening in their vision and also blurring of vision. Also prolonged staring into the screen is associated with decrease in the blink rate and may cause dryness in the eyes, burning sensation, itching and redness. Particularly at risk are those individuals who spend 2 or more hours working on the computers or using a digital screen device.
- Redness of the Eyes
- Burning Sensation
- Difficulty in Focussing from near to far objects
- Neck Pain
Most of these Problems Result due to
- Prolonged screen time
- Improper seating positions
- Glare from the screen
- Viewing distance is not proper
- Pre existing un corrected refractive errors
Prevention and treatment
Most of these symptoms are temporary and many times resolve after stopping the use of these digital devices.
However by taking certain measures we can minimize the risk of developing these symptoms.
- The computer screen should be at optimum distance. It should be 20 to 28 inches from the eyes and 15-20 degrees below the eye level.
- The screen should be positioned in a way as to avoid glare from overhead lights and bulbs .
- It is always better to use screen glare filter which decrease the glare.
- Chairs should be comfortably positioned so that proper posture is maintained while working on the computer. The arms should be supported on the table while typing and excessive bending should be avoided to prevent neck and shoulder pain.
- Try to blink regularly and take rests in between. For every 20 minutes of screen time, try to look into distance for 20 seconds to change the focus. Also after 2 hours of continuous work, try to take a break of 10 to 15 minutes to avoid eye strain.
- The mainstay of treatment is to correct your refractive errors and use glasses regularly while working even if your number is low. Also sometimes the current prescription might need to be changed and in many people, an intermediate addition in the refractive correction may be needed. The glasses should have an anti glare coating as it helps in reducing the glare from the screen.
- Lubricating eyedrops are needed in those who experience the symptoms of dry eyes. it is important to blink regularly while working on the computer as it spreads the tear film and keeps the eyes moist.
It is important to maintain adequate posture and take proper precautions to prevent the development of CVS.
Many times symptoms are mild and resolve gradually when the screen time is reduced. By adopting a healthy lifestyle we can definitely prevent and overcome CVS.