Computer Vision Syndrome; Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Computer vision syndrome refers to a symptom or a group of symptoms experienced by a person as a result of prolonged working on computer screen. Although continuous computer usage leads to several problems, ocular disorders are the most common complaints.
- Neck ache
- Disinclination to work
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Redness of the eye
- Irritation of the eye
- Dryness of the eye
- Vision blurring
Ocular surface related causes
- Most frequently, symptoms relate to occurrence of dry eye in these persons. Dry eye leads to burning, irritation, redness. Reflex tearing and fatigue in the eye and blurring vision.
- Various factors that leads to occurrence of dry eye or eye like condition in the eye are:
- While working on the computer for long periods, a person stares at the screen without blinking which dries out the eye surface.
- The direction in which the eye looks while working on a computer is horizontal as opposed to a downward stare while reading. This exposes more of the eye area and causes dryness.
- Air-conditioned office atmosphere along with dust and static build-up dries out the eyes.
- Contact lenses hinder the tear film from wetting the eyes.
- Cosmetic such as eyeliners or eye shadows block the pores on the eyelid margin leading to drier eyes.
- The symptoms are more common in females and women from 45-50 years of age ate at a higher risk of developing dry eyes.
Eyestrain or Asthenopia related causes
People with marginal deficiency of accommodation or binocular vision display these symptoms when they work for long hours on a computer. Eyestrain leads to eye fatigue, headache, blurred vision and also double vision.
The contributory factors include:
Visual disturbances such as a high contrast or high illumination on the computer screen.
Tight Spacing of letters and lines on the screen.
The presence of light characters on a dark background.
Glare from any light source which fails directly on the computer screen.
Treatment and Prevention
The treatment and / or prevention these problems require the person to make changes or adjustments in his work pattern and habits.
- The most important thing is to take breaks in between work. The breaks can be short but should be frequent.
- Take your eyes off the screen ever half an hour and lock at a distance point for a few minutes.
- Always keep a bottle of lubricating eye drops handy and pour a drop or two in each eye every two hours.
- Make a deliberate efforts to blink more often while working.
- Position the lighting in such a way that no direct light falls on the computer screen or in your eyes.
- Use an anti-glare screen to reduce glare and reflection off the screen.
- Position the computer at a distance of three feet from the eyes and about 10 to 20 degrees below the eye level.