Eyestrain related to computer use is the number one health-related complaint in the workplace, but what causes the discomfort and how can it be avoided?
Approximately 125 million Americans suffer from a serious condition known as “Computer Vision Syndrome” or “CVS”. Common symptoms include, dry and irritated eyes, blurry or double vision, severe headaches, inability to focus, and neck and shoulder pains.
“The strain put on the eyes when using a computer for long periods of time is frequently a result of excessive, bright light in the office,” said Dr. Tom Dehaven, of DeHaven Eye Clinic. “Also, research has found that people blink five times less often when using a computer and this deprives the eye of moisture and causes irritation and even blurred vision.”
According to the expert physicians at DeHaven, the pains of CVS can be alleviated or even prevented through a few simple measures. First, patients should have an eye exam to make sure they are not experiencing a more serious problem. Following the exam, lower wattage should be used for lighting in workspaces and curtains and blinds should be kept closed to avoid glares. Also, it is important to adjust the brightness of your monitor. For example, if a blank, on-screen document acts as a light source, it is too bright, and if it appears gray, it is too dim.
DeHaven Eye Clinic is dedicated to offering the best vision care through a variety of treatments and procedures. DeHaven Eye Clinic is dedicated to East Texans. They have locations in Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville and Mineola.
Tips for Reducing Eyestrain
While computer-related eye problems are unpleasant, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate them:
Remember to Blink
A common complaint among computer users is dry, irritated eyes. While staring at a monitor, you tend to blink less. When you don't blink enough, there is insufficient tear flow to the eyes. The best remedy is to make a conscious effort to blink more often. Write yourself a reminder and post it to your computer if necessary.
Take a Break
Give your eyes a break by looking away from the screen several times an hour. Take a minute to look at things at varying distances from your computer, like a picture on the wall, or something outside a window. Your eyes will have the opportunity to refocus and refresh.
Position Is Everything
Position your monitor 18 to 30 inches from your eyes, directly in front of you and not off to one side. This goes for your keyboard, too. Your eyes won't have to focus at different distances, which may cause fatigue, and your neck won't strain. Make sure your monitor is neither too high nor too low. The top of your screen should be at eye level or below so that you look slightly down at your work. If the monitor is too high, your eye muscles will work harder, and neck tension may result. Reference and reading materials should be placed beside your monitor at the same level, angle and distance. This prevents your eyes from constantly readjusting.
Office lighting and sunlight can cause excessive glare on your monitor screen and tire your eyes. Position your monitor so that windows and lights are on either side of the monitor instead of in front of or behind it. Adjust window shades to reduce sunlight and turn off bright lights, or reduce the wattage in the light bulbs. Glare-reduction screens are available at most office supply stores; however, be sure they are not too dim, which can also be a source of eyestrain.
If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you have the right prescription for computer use. Most glasses and contacts are designed for either near- or far-sightedness. Computer use, however, falls into the intermediate zone and therefore may require glasses or contact lenses designed specifically for this use. If you don't already have glasses or contact lenses, consider having your eyes checked by a professional.