Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) affects people that work for prolonged periods in front of computer screens, whether at home or at work. There are many things that we can do to reduce this strain, but it is first important to identify what we can do to alleviate the situation.
Yearly eye exams are a very important part of your health. Through the eyes many different ailments are first detected, such as; Glaucoma, High Blood pressure, macular degeneration, diabetes, as well as your over all visual health and correction. This is not a way for Doctors to make more money, often you do not need to get new glasses or change your prescription.
The most common symptoms of CVS are:
• Blurred vision
• Dry eyes
• Neck and shoulder pain
These symptoms can be caused by:
• Poor/dim lighting
• Glare from the screen, lights, and windows
• Poor seating posture
• Uncorrected vision problems
• A combination of all of these factors
The extent to which someone might experience these symptoms will vary with the individual, their age, visual correction and amount of time spent in front of a computer.
Many of the visual difficulties experienced while working in front of the computer will dissipate when the individual leaves the computer and stops working for a while. Some individuals will continue to have difficulties even after they have stopped working in front of the computer. If you do not address these issues, problems can occur and work will suffer. If nothing is done, the problems will continue and perhaps worsen with future computer use.
Prevention and reduction of problems with CVS can be as simple as better lighting, appropriate seats, monitors at the correct height, and proper eyewear. Even if the problems are minor, once they are corrected, use of the computer will be better.
Viewing a screen often makes our eyes work harder, as a result, new types of glasses have been developed to help reduce and/or eliminate CVR Syndrome. Looking at a screen all day is harder than looking at printed pages all day long. Many studies have been conducted that show that at the end of a typical 8 hour work day, people that looked at printed paper all day made considerable fewer mistakes than those that were in front of a computer screen all day.
Viewing your computer screen at the correct distances and heights is very important. Typically, you will want your screen about 4 to 5 inches below eye level. Reference materials should be kept at eye level as much as possible. The goal is to keep your focus at one level as much as possible.
Proper lighting is also very important. Good overhead light is essential! Blinds, sheers, or glare blockers on windows will stop indirect glare, anti-glare screens will help alleviate the distracting glare as well. It is also important that if you do wear glasses, that you have anti-glare coating put on the lenses to eliminate the glare from the lenses as you look through them.
Getting up and walking away form the computer at least 5 minutes every hour helps relieve strain. Make sure that you blink. We all tend to stare at our screens too long and this causes our eyes to dry out more quickly than needed.
Keeping your room in a comfortable humidity level of 40-55% will help keep your eyes moister as well. Many companies will run humidifiers here in AZ year round in heavily used computer areas.
Solutions to computer related vision problems are varied. In some cases, even those who do not need a pair of prescription glasses for daily use might find that by having a pair of glasses with the Anti-Glare coating on them, makes their day easier. For all of us who do wear glasses, computer glasses are of a great benefit.
The different types of glasses that are used for computer use are as varied as the people using them.
The most common are:
• Single vision, one power in the lens set for a specific distance in power
• Lined Bifocal, the top power being used for the screen, the bottom used for near
• Progressive lenses, all powers of the prescription from far to near
• Computer lenses, the most popular lens, designed for a maximum of 7/10 feet to 6 inches.