Dealing With Computer Vision Syndrome

A man sitting before a computer, and has a headache

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Due to the nature of the jobs that a number of people do, they spend long hours before their computer screens, get home to play video games, and spend some time on social media before going to bed. On weekends, they`re trying to catch up with happenings,  as they watching television. This sounds like the everyday life of a number of people, and it definitely takes its toll on the eyes. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that occurs as a result of unhealthy digital exposure that the eyes experience. It is an umbrella term to describe all vision problems that occur as a result of prolonged computer (and other digital devices) use.
What is CVS about? What are its causes, symptoms, preventive measures, and what else do you care to know? Just keep reading to find out.

Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome

  • aging
  • untreated vision etiologies
  • poor lighting
  • not using anti-glare glasses
  • glaring on your digital screens without anti-glare glasses
  • unhealthy viewing distances

Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

  • blurred vision
  • eye fatigue
  • floaters
  • burning sensation in the eyes
  • dry eyes
  • red and/or watery eyes
  • a burning sensation in the eyes
  • irritation in the eyes
  • constant headache
  • neck and/or back pain

How to Diagnose and Treat Computer Vision Syndrome

Eye Examination

This is the major way to diagnose CVS. An ophthalmologist may need to carry out an eye examination to see how the eyes work in response to distances from the computer screen. This would help ascertain the exact problem and how to deal with it.

There are two major ways of treating CVS. We`ll discuss some of them briefly.

Medical Prescriptions

A bespectacled lady using a computerThis may include contact lenses or glasses. The glasses may be single, bifocal, or tinted lenses which you wear while you operate gadgets.

Environmental Changes

Carrying out some changes in your workplace and home can be helpful in combating CVS. Let`s see some of them.

  • Position your computer screen such that it is below eye level and about 20-28 inches away from your face.
  • Adjust the font size and brightness of your computer to avoid straining your eyes.
  • Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking about 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is called the 20-20-20 rule.

How to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Do regular eye checkups.
  • Consume diets rich in various vitamins and minerals.
  • Use an anti-glare screen filter on your gadgets.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule.
  • Take 15-minute breaks after every two hours of using gadgets.
  • Lubricate your eyes with artificial tears, or place a humidifier close to your screen if your eyes feel dry often.
  • Your room or office should be bright enough for your screens. It`s unhealthy to use bright screens in dark environments
  • If you wear contact lens, you could wear your glasses instead while using your computer.
  • Practice eye exercises such as rotating your eyes in the clockwise direction, blinking slowly, or occasionally looking far away for some seconds.

Proper Body Position while Using a Computer

Maintaining proper body positions while using a computer also serves as a way of preventing computer vision syndrome. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Sit close to the keyboard and position it directly in front of your body, so you don`t have to tilt while operating the computer.
  • Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed, and your wrists and hands are parallel to your keyboard.
  • Resting your wrists may be helpful in preventing pain.
  • Sit at an arm’s length from your computer screen.
  • Position your computer screen slightly below your eye level, such that the center of the screen is at least 10-15 degrees below eye level.
  • The center of the screen should be at least 10-15 degrees below eye level.

Other Ways to Care for your Eyes

These tips, in addition to preventive or curative measures for CVS, will get your eyes to a state of good health.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eat foods rich in Vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and lutein because they help repair the eyes. Such foods include sweet potatoes, butter, papaya, cod liver oil, blueberries, grapes, and apricot. Greens are also super beneficial. You can have some collard greens, zucchini, kale, spinach, or Brussels sprouts.

Get Adequate Rest

Getting enough rest is quite important, as sleep helps overworked eye muscles to relax.

Keep your Hands Clean

It is important that you keep your hands clean at all times to maintain healthy eyes. This is because touching the eyes is unavoidable, hence you may be infecting your eyes with dirt and germs if your hands aren`t clean. Also, remember to wash your hands properly before changing your glasses or contact lens.

Washing the hands may not be possible at all places and all times required, hence taking a portable container of hand sanitizer around may be helpful. It may not be as effective as washing your hands, however, it`ll help you disinfect them to a large extent.

Stay Hydrated

A lady drinking some waterIncreasing your water intake would be quite helpful. You may also wash your face occasionally, and at other times, fill your mouth with water and splash it out with your eyes wide open. This will help you feel refreshed.

Protect your Eyes from Sun Rays

Excessively exposing your eyes to ultraviolet rays of the sun may cause severe damage to your eyes. It may lead to macular degeneration or some other ocular conditions. There are various ways of protecting your eyes, some of which are wearing UV protected glasses or contact lenses, using an umbrella, or wearing a hat when it`s sunny.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is associated with a number of ocular diseases. It damages the optic nerves and over time causes impaired vision. For your eyes and overall health, stop smoking.

Know your Family Eye Health History

There are people who, notwithstanding the exposure they have to digital devices, their eyes remain healthy. However, there are others who are susceptible to having ocular conditions. Genetics is a major factor here. Even though you can`t change it, knowing it (early especially) would make you proactive, hence prevent likely eye health conditions.

Exercise Your Eyes

Practice relaxation exercises. For instance, after a while of sitting before your computer, you may place your hands together palm to palm, then rub them together briskly to create some heat, then immediately place them over your eyes; and as you close your eyes, imagine some relaxation. You will actually feel relaxed. Keeping your hands clean at all times is essential if you will be doing this.

Use Less Eye Makeup

Eye makeups contain harmful chemicals that may cause eye issues, especially when they`re overused. Also, when you use them, remember to wash them off properly, and not leave them overnight, as that may cause bacterial buildup. What`s more? Ensure that the brushes you use to apply makeup are clean, as they may introduce germs into your eyes.

Now That You Know…

Today`s world put a number of people at risk of computer vision syndrome, as we do virtually everything online these days. So to keep up with the global advancement, you need to spend more time before the screens of various gadgets. The need to keep your eyes healthy has never been more pressing. Are you ready to prevent or treat computer vision syndrome?