Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) refers to a spectrum of eye-related problems caused due to continuous excessive use of computers and LED screens. Staring at a computer screen has become a daily routine for many of us. Work and pleasure both include using a computer or a tablet. Working on computers for long periods leads to pain in the eyes, strain and headache.
Why does CVS occur?
The mechanism of focus on a computer screen is far different from that of books. Books have to be focused a single time for reading. But the image on computer screen is being refreshed rapidly (40 – 60 times per second). So the eyes have to focus and defocus every time to see a new image clearly leading to strain. Apart from this main factor, other factors contributing to CVS are:
• Uncorrected spectacle power
• Inappropriate glasses
• Reduced blinking rate
• Wrong work posture
• Dry eyes
• Job stress
• Age (after forties, the focusing power of eyes decrease)
What are the symptoms of CVS?
Common symptoms of CVS include eye pain, strain, headache, blurred vision (especially when changing focus from near to distance), tired eyes, redness and discomfort.
How to prevent CVS?
Following measures are advised for prevention of CVS:
• The top level of screen should be at eye level to prevent undue stress on neck
• Dark background behind the computer screen
• Avoid placing any light source immediately behind the computer screen
• Workstation should be placed in such a way that the user is not facing an air conditioner or cooler
• Footrest on floor
• Maintaining proper posture during work
Tips for user
• Follow the simple rule of 20:20:20, i.e., after every 20 mins of computer work, look at distant target and blink 20 times in 20 seconds
• Regular small breaks after every 45 minutes to one hour of work if working for long hours
• Regular eye examination by ophthalmologist
How to detect CVS?
Detection of CVS requires detailed eye examination by an ophthalmologist with the following tests:
• Refractive error
• Dry eye status
• Convergence power
• Evaluation of arrangement of computer workstation
How to manage CVS?
CVS is managed as per its cause.
• Prescription and use of correct refraction
• Using anti-glare/ blue cut glasses
• Dry eye management
• Orthoptic exercises for convergence insufficiency
Take home message CVS is a common eye problem among computer users and warrants proper evaluation and treatment by an eye specialist.