Amidst the pandemic when no one is allowed to go out we all have been working from our homes, attending online classes, binge watching netflix series or playing online games. Either for work or for the sake of entertainment, we all have been stuck in front of our computer and mobile screens. Sitting in front of a screen for long hours has been causing strain to our eyes and this problem has not just been observed in adults but in children as well. Let us take a deep dive into it and look at what computer vision syndrome actually is and some measures to prevent it.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Staring at the computer screen for long can put strain on your eyes. The eye diseases or problems caused due to the prolonged use of computers and other such devices fall under the computer vision syndrome. As when you are looking at the screen your eyes need to work more in order to focus on the text written over the screen. The glare on the screen can also make your eyes work harder as it becomes a hindrance while you try to work on the computer screen.
“Computer vision syndrome is usually a temporary condition which reverses on taking corrective steps. It does not usually cause permanent eye damage. One of the corrective and or preventive steps is to ensure that one takes adequate breaks while using the screen. It is advisable to take a few seconds break every half hour and a longer break of fifteen minutes every two hours.” Says Dr Uma Mallaiah, Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist.
How Computers Affect Your eyes?
A question which has been debated upon for long is how computers actually affect your vision. While working on the screen your eyes need to focus and refocus a number of times, this constant shift of focus sends varying images to your brain rapidly. This process requires a lot of movement from your eye muscles. As you need to focus and refocus so many times while working on the computer screen that the number of times we blink while working on computers is very less and there are hindrances in reading such as glare, flickering and screen contrast which causes problems such as dry eyes and blurry vision.
This problem is observed to have adverse effects in ealderly people as with increasing age the natural lenses of your eyes become less flexible and the ability to focus on near and far objects simultaneously goes away.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Before the problem gets very serious there are a few symptoms which can help you to rectify the problem at an early stage. Although it does not cause any long term damage to your eyes , regular use can result in discomfort and lead to eye strain. This can cause a lot of vision and eye problems such as headache, eye strain, dry eyes, itchy eyes, blurry vision, eye fatigue, double vision, red eyes, neck pain, back pain, etc.
Tips to help ease eye strain
We know that you can not leave your 9-5 jobs which forces you to sit in front of that screen for long hours and when staying indoors is the only option you will eventually tend to use your phone or laptop for entertainment purposes. Here we have some tips which you can rely upon to ease the eye strain you get by sitting in front of your screen for hours.
1. Rearrange your work space
Rearranging your work space can be a lot more helpful than it sounds. Make sure that your monitor is positioned a little below your eye level and is about 20-28 inches away from your face. Make sure that you are seated in such a position that you do not need to stretch your neck or back to read anything written on your screen.
2. Take a break
Taking a break is never a bad idea and if it is for your eyes, you should surely do that. Follow a 20-20-20 rule which says after working for 20 minutes look at a point for 20 seconds which is 20 feet away.
3. Blink! Blink! Blink!
Blink as often as you can. Blinking helps you to keep your eyes moist and to keep the problem such as dry eyes at a bay. If your eyes still feel dry, try some eye drops.
4. Bring down the glare
As said, glare can be a hindrance while working on your screen so change the lighting around your system to reduce the effect on your screen. You can close the shades or curtains if the light from the nearby window is casting a glare on your screen. A glare filter can be added to your monitor screen to reduce the glare or add a lamp so that the light is evenly casted on your work-station.
5. Posture is the key
A good posture is very helpful in keeping your eyes healthy and strain free. There are some key aspects which can help you improve your posture such as sitting straight, keeping the monitor slightly below eye level, using a chair with nice back support and keeping your shoulders relaxed. Following these few steps can help you to get a good posture while working and hence reducing the eye-strain.
These are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to reduce the eye strain while working on computers for long hours and keep computer vision syndrome and other problems related to it at bay. If you still feel any kind of discomfort make sure that you consult your doctor and take proper medical advice.
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