Computer Vision Syndrome – Tips to reduce digital eye strain

Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS is a name given to eye problems that are caused by prolonged computer use. When people use computers, tablets or mobile phones their eyes are required to converge closely and keep focus for long periods of time. Eye problems are becoming more and more common due to the increase in digital usage in our world.

Jacquie Gattegno, a Smart Vision Optometrist at Eyes InDesign Bondi, discusses the symptoms of CVS and how to manage problems occurring from digital eye strain as well as how to reduce their effects.

There are signs and symptoms to look out for to know if it’s CVS or not. The symptoms of CVS or digital eye strain include; tired eyes, dry eyes, headaches, glare sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision, eye twitching or excessive tiredness towards the end of the day. If a person suffers from any of these symptoms, it is possible that they could potentially have Computer Vision Syndrome.

“CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome has become one of the most common workplace complaints but it is not exclusive to adults,” says Jacquie. There are millions of children and teens who spend hours in front of a computer everyday. This puts stress on their eyes and can affect normal vision development. If these problems are not corrected in younger people, it has been shown to cause shortsightedness or myopia.

There are ways to treat or control Computer Vision Syndrome. Firstly, a Smart Vision Optometry comprehensive vision skills assessment needs to be performed so that a personal wellness treatment program can be designed for them. Depending on the results of their examination, their Smart Vision Optometrist may prescribe them specific computer glasses customised for where their visual system is at and which will help their eyes focus on the screen more comfortably. “Studies have shown that having the correct computer glasses increases productivity and accuracy,” says Jacquie. It is also recommended to have an anti-reflective coating on their computer glasses as it reduces reflections on the front and the back of their glasses, which causes glare and can make it difficult for their eyes to focus.

Besides wearing the correct computer glasses, there are a few more recommendations they can adopt to reduce the effects of CVS. Follow the ’20-20-20 rule’ which states that every 20 minutes they should spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet (6 metres) away. It is also important to keep blinking as this helps to wash their eyes with tears naturally. The physical position of their computer as well as their own physical position is also important. The computer or laptop should be at least 40-50 centimetres away from the eyes, this is about an arms length away. The person should adjust their screen so that they look slightly downwards at it. It is also important to adjust the brightness levels to a level that is comfortable. The lighting in the surroundings should be correct, direct lighting overhead should be kept to a minimum. Make sure the desk lamp is shining on the desk and not onto the screen. Try and keep the window light off to the side instead of in front or behind as this will help reduce the reflective glare on the screen. It is also important to make sure that posture is correct while sitting by your computer. It is said that for every two centimetres forward a person leans, there are 14 kilograms weighing on their neck!

Finally and perhaps the most important step is for the person to book a session with a Smart Vision Optometrist to have a comprehensive vision skills assessment as this will enable a unique vision wellness treatment to be planned for them.

Smart Vision Optometry clinics are located in multiple suburbs in Sydney. Book a Smart Vision Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment or Advanced Eye Health Test for any child or adult by calling the Mosman clinic (02) 9969 1600 or the Bondi clinic (02) 9365 5047, book an appointment online.

Written and syndicated by YDMA News.

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