These days, many of us have jobs that require us to stare at computer screens and other digital devices for hours at a time which puts a real strain on our eyes.These problems have been increasing in frequency over the past few decades. Many people experiences wide range of asthenopic symptoms if they use computer or digital device for long periods. Eye problems caused by computer usage is what meant to
as Computer vision syndrome (CVS).
American Optometric Association (AOA) defines Computer Vision Syndrome as a complex of eye and vision problems related to the activities which stress the near vision ,experienced in relation, or during the interaction with computer display or its environment .
Pathophysiology of computer vision syndrome
I. Extra ocular mechanism – Extraocular mechanism causes musculoskeletal symptoms such as neck stiffness, pain, headache, backache and shoulder pain.These symptoms are well associated with improper placement of computer screen which lead to muscles sprain.
II. Accommodative mechanism : Accommodative mechanism causes blurring of vision, double vision, presbyopia, myopia and slowness of focus change.
III.Ocular surface mechanism : Ocular surface mechanism causes symptoms such as dryness of the eyes, redness, gritty sensation and burning after extended period of computer usage. These symptoms may be multifactorial, the common factors are corneal dryness, reduction in blink rate, increased surface of cornea exposure at the computer screen, reduction of tear production due to ageing process ,contact lens usage, medication such as antihistamines and systemic medical illnesses such as autoimmune connective.
What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?
There are a number of factors that determine the amount of strain your body feels as you work on a computer or other digital device,
Stating few as :-
• Improper lighting in the room
• Improper distance from the screen
• Glare and reflection from the screen
• Seating posture, and the angle of your head
• Uncorrected spectacle power
• Inappropriate glass for computer use
• Decreased blink rate or tear function
• Poor workstation setup
• Job Nature and stress
Who can be affected by CVS?
Computer Vision Syndrome affects 75% of the people who work on computers, most markedly those who work more than 3 to 4 hours on computers.
This includes all professions that use computers and also the students or children who indulge themselves onto the digital screen for prolonged hours.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Your eye care professional can diagnose computer vision syndrome through an eye exam, with special attention paid to how the eye works and responds at computer distance.
Some common symptoms include:
• Blurred vision
• Red eye
• Dry eye
• Double vision
• Loss of focus
• Eye twitching
• Neck and shoulder pain
What can be the negative effects of CVS?
• Poor visual functions
• Increased stress levels
• Reduced effective work hours
• Frequent absence from work
• Possible increase in errors
• Less time available for personal care and reversal
which together spell ….“Reduced productivity”
How can it be detected?
CVS is often different from other typical eye problems.
The usual ophthalmic examination focuses more on distance vision (6 m and beyond) and near vision (35 to 40 cm), whereas the computer professionals have a unique working distances with respect to the monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.
Due to this difference in working distance, the usual examination does not completely address the actual environmental conditions.
The Computer Vision Clinic, however, is specially designed to address the varied needs of the individual computer user.
Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome
Best way to treat CVS are
• And follow-up
Services provided for Computer Vision syndrome
- A complete eye examination – including spectacle power
- Orthoptic evaluation – Ocular muscle coordination and status evaluation
- Tear function evaluation
- Work stress and ergonomics assessment.
- Counseling on work and ergonomics
- Exercises for Binocular vision problems
- Review of progress and maintenance of visual and ergonomic conditions.
Different ways to reduce the effects of computer vision syndrome can be:-
• Proper lighting in the room .
• Anti-glare filters for computer screens
• Position the digital display so that your head is in a naturally comfortable position.
• Correct prescription computer eyeglasses to increases productivity and accuracy
• Glasses with anti-reflective (AR) coatings.
• Make sure your seat is comfortable. A comfortable chair with support for your neck and back will help you avoid neck and shoulder strain.
• Tweak your settings :- Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size to find what’s best for you.
• Ergonomical factors :- changing your computer workstation to facilitate good posture can certainly help minimize some physical symptoms.
• 20-20-20 rule :- Use the 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
Role of tinted lens on computer ?
If you work in a bright screen , it might be a good idea to have a mild tint added to the lenses of your computer glasses. Lightly tinted lenses will reduce the amount of light entering your eyes to more comfortable levels and may help reduce eye strain.
- Data on file ; Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. Rochester, NY.
- American Optometric Association (AOA) .
- Visual and ocular effects from the use of display units . (June 18,
2016). Internation journal of ophthalmology . Digital eye strain, The Vision
- Understanding and preventing computer vision syndrome by KY Loh and SC
- (March 1, 2016) . American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).