Friday, March 26, 2010

Computer Eyestrain

I read for you: 
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (ie. bright overhead lighting or glare) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan).


Dry eye is a major symptom that is targeted in the therapy of CVS. The use of over-the-counter artificial-tear solutions can reduce the effects of dry eye in CVS.

Asthenopic symptoms in the eye are responsible for much of the morbidity in CVS. Proper rest to the eye and its muscles is recommended to relieve the associated eye strain. Various catch-phrases have been used to spread awareness about giving rest to the eyes while working on computers. A routinely recommended approach is to consciously blink the eyes every now and then (this helps replenish the tear film) and to look out the window to a distant object or to the sky—doing so provides rest to the ciliary muscles. One of the catch phrases is the "20-20-20 rule": every 20 minutes, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds. This basically gives a convenient distance and timeframe for a person to follow the advice from the optometrist and ophthalmologist. Otherwise, the patient is advised to close his/her eyes (which has a similar effect) for 20 seconds, at least every half hour.

Decreased focusing capability is mitigated by wearing a small plus-powered (+1.00 to +1.50) over-the-counter pair of eyeglasses. Wearing these eyeglasses helps such patients regain their ability to focus on near objects. People who are engaged in other occupations—such as tailors engaged in embroidery—can experience similar symptoms and can be helped by these glasses.

Computer Eyestrain:
Some of the specialists categorize these symptoms under the term 'Computer Eyestrain'. According to them the computer eyestrain is not a clinical disease. Rather it is a reaction to a computer-centered office environment. Making simple adjustments to your workplace usually can eliminate it.


Place your computer in such a way that the screen sits slightly below your eye level.
The computer screen should be at the distance of 20 to 26 inches from your eyes.
Adjust the lighting around the computer to minimize glare and reflections. You can also place a non-glare filter on the computer monitor to reduce glare.
Time to time give your eyes a break by frequently standing up to stretch.
If possible alternate computer activities with other tasks.
Use an adjustable copyholder that holds documents at the same level as the computer screen. This will eliminate the need to swing around (to view documents) and help reduce back and shoulder strain.
Time to time use artificial tears to moisten dry eyes.
Immediately consult an eye specialist if the symptoms persist.
Have regular eye check ups, especially if you work with computer or video screens.

Eye Strain And Computer Use

Some of the most common symptoms of eyestrain are mentioned below. These could be attributed to prolonged computer screen viewing. However, everyone could have different experience with these symptoms. The common symptoms include:

Red, watery, irritated eyes
Tired, aching or heavy eyelids
Problems with focusing
Muscle spasms of the eye or eye lid

Relief From Eye Strain

The symptoms of eyestrain may resemble any other eye condition therefore it is advised to consult a physician for proper diagnosis. Still you can have relief from the eyestrain in the following ways

By resting the eyes
Changing the work environment
Wearing the proper glasses

How To Avoid Eyestrain

Position the top of the VDT screen at or slightly below the eye level.
Place all the reference materials as close to the screen as possible. This will minimize head and eye movements and focusing changes.
While working minimize lighting reflections and glare.
Keep the VDT screen clean and dust-free.
Schedule periodic rest breaks to avoid eye fatigue.
Try to keep the eyes lubricated (by blinking) to prevent them from drying out.
Keep the VDT screen in proper focus.
You should consult your ophthalmologist as may be you are one of those individuals who normally do not need glasses but may need corrective lenses for doing the computer work.

Eyestrain occurs with the over-use of eye muscles, which usually happens when you work on computers. Normally any muscle held in one position for too long strains. So when you concentrate on activities such as reading, working at the computer or watching television for a long time then your inner eye muscles tighten up and cause the eyes to get irritated, dry and uncomfortable. You should take a 5-minute break, once or twice an hour, from whatever you are doing. Avoid working the same thing for longer durations. This would give your eyes a chance to relax and refocus.


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