In a highly digitized world, we often find ourselves connected to our electronic devices – mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Perhaps your job requires you to work numerous hours in front of a computer screen. Or as a form of leisure, you like to spend your time surfing the net or casually browsing through your social media accounts. But spending too much time logged in has an often overlooked downside. Several health experts have issued warnings over the excessive use of our gadgets as it can affect our well-being. Specifically, they have described a host of symptoms – eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck & shoulder pain – and collectively termed it as “computer vision syndrome”. The cause? Well, from the name itself, it is most often due to excessive time spent in front of computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone screens.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)?
Computer vision syndrome is an eye condition that results from the extended use of computers. So naturally, those with a high risk of developing such a condition are those that always find themselves in front of computer screens. The prevalence of computer vision syndrome ranges from 25 to 93% and the average American worker spends 7 hours each day facing a computer screen whether that be inside the office or at home. The American Optometric Association said that the people who are at greatest risk for developing CVS or Digital Eye Strain are those persons who spend two or more uninterrupted hours viewing a computer or using a digital device every day.
Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms
The most frequent symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain are: eyestrain, headaches, blurred eyesight or double vision, eyes that seem dried out, or burning eye discomfort, and neck, shoulder, and back pain. These symptoms may be caused by: poor lighting, apparent glares over a digital or computer screen, unfitting viewing angles, poor seating posture, uncorrected vision problems, and a combination of these factors.
Viewing a computer screen often makes our eyes work harder. More eye focusing and movements are required because of the distinct features and increased visual demands of computer and digital screen device viewing. There lies a clear distinction between viewing from a computer screen and reading from any printed document or book. Digital devices are more prone to developing screen glares, the letters on the screen are often not sharply delineated (owing to the screen’s low resolution or pixel density), and lastly the level of contrast of the letters relative to the background is lessened.
Self-Help Tips on How to Prevent CVS
Here are some simple steps to help alleviate or relieve digital eye strain:
1. Keep blinking as it washes your eyes in tears. Blinking is a natural phenomenon to lubricate our eyes and protect it from harmful stimuli.
2. Regularly practice the 20-20-20 rule. Here is how it works: when working from a computer – after every 20 minutes, take a break that lasts 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away from you.
3. Get the right amount of light, not too bright and not too dim. Keep bright lighting to a minimum. In case you have a light fixture near your desk, it is highly recommended that you direct the light on your table itself and never towards you. Make an effort to keep window light off to any area that is not directly in front of you. It is also beneficial for you to get a protective screen. Position the computer screen at certain, comfortable angles to reduce reflections from windows or bright lights.
4. Monitor your computer screen. Keep it at approximately 50 cm from your eyes. Center your computer screen about half a foot below your eyes. It is also important to make sure the screen is just the right amount of length and width (not too big and not too small) and with the reasonable and comfortable amount of brightness, contrast, and resolution.
5. Or: you can try my method. I teach proven techniques based on the Bates Method of Natural Vision. Better Vision can happen when eyes are relaxed and not strained, according to Dr. William H. Bates (1860-1931). Let me customize a program for you today to reduce Computer Vision Syndrome stress and be on your way to soft, relaxed eyes for Better Vision.
Visit www.BetterVision.Guru to get to know more about my Corporate Wellness Program and for you to hopefully bring this to your employees to offset Computer Vision Syndrome. Wellness Centers, Dental Offices, Yoga Studios, Meet-Up Groups, and Individual sessions available in person or via Skype. Add Better Vision habits to your toolbox for greater knowledge of wellness.