When you work in an office, you use your computer for everything. You usually work on it for many hours at a time, and after a while this can end up taking a toll on your eyes. At the worst, you may even start to experience Computer Vision Eye Syndrome (CVS). In fact, Time Magazine reports that 64-90 percent of office workers suffer from CVS. If you’re not familiar with CVS, it’s that strained and tired feeling your eyes get after hours of sitting in front of a computer screen. CVS sufferers aren’t likely to get permanent eye damage, but the symptoms can be bothersome to many.
Symptoms of CVS are redness, dryness, blurred or double vision, headaches and neck pain. You are more likely to have CVS if you wear eyeglasses or contacts. Unfortunately, these people make up 71 percent of CVS sufferers. If you are a computer user that wears glasses or contacts, you must check up regularly on your eyes with an ophthalmologist. Frequent computer use without the correct prescription will definitely lead to CVS.
There are ways to deal with CVS though if you have started to experience the effects. One of the first things you can do is check the lighting on your computer screen. Experiment with the lighting and see what works best for you. To find out if the lighting of your monitor screen is causing you to experience CVS, it’s suggested that you do the visor test. Do this by cupping your hands over your eyes like you’re wearing a visor and if your eyes feel immediate relief then you should change the lighting and brightness of your monitor.
Another way to prevent CVS is to make sure you have proper posture when you’re using your computer. This will reduce the strain on your neck, back and shoulders. Another way to reduce the strain on your neck is to position the center of your screen 4-8 inches below your eyes. Also, make sure that your computer screen is at an arm’s length- any closer and it will strain your eyes.
You should also move to reduce the glare that you get from your monitor. Make sure that the lighting around you isn’t reflecting on your computer screen. Investing in an anti-glare computer screen will solve this problem immediately. Eliminate other lighting by using shades or blinds on the windows next to you.
After staring at a computer screen for many hours, we need to take time away from the screen to re-focus our eyes. This will help relieve eye strain and tiredness. Look away from your computer every 10-15 minutes focusing on a distant object for 5-10 seconds. This will allow your eyes to take a break from the computer screen, and will allow them to blink to prevent dryness.
Taking preventive measures are the easiest ways to avoid CVS. Dealing with CVS becomes less burdensome when the proper prevention is used. Since CVS effects so many office workers, you are likely not alone in dealing with the effects of long-term computer use. Take care of your eyes and follow the tips above to combat these negative effects.
Do you think you are starting to experience CVS from your day job? Do you make specific moves to combat this? Let us know about it in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Mikleman