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Tackling Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Do you spend more than 2 hours a day working on a computer? Do your eyes feel tired in the evening after working on a computer screen? Do you occasionally suffer from blurred vision or stiff neck and shoulder pain? If your answer is yes to any of the two questions, you are not alone. Like millions of others, you too suffer from computer vision syndrome or Eyestrain.

Symptoms-

  • Eye Strain 
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry & Irritated eyes
  • Slow Refocusing
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Neck or Backache
  • Headache
  • Double vision

Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome-

  • Less of blinking—Blinking is the natural reflex of eyes to keep it moist. When you are working on your computer, you blink less than the normal leading to dry eyes.
  • Visual problems—People who are already near-sighted, far-sighted, or have astigmatism are more likely to develop Computer vision Syndrome. Multifocal lenses make it even more difficult because the screen is higher and further away from the zones meant for distance & near view.
  • Computer glare & reflection—Glare from surrounding lamps and lights can also lead to Eyestrain.
  • Improper workstation design—One of the most common problems is workstation set up, the monitor of the computer is placed too high. The top of the screen should be at eye level. A screen that is too high can lead to the dry, irritated eye as you blink less frequently. It also causes headaches, neck and upper back pain because the head is tilted towards the back to see the screen.
  • Dry environment and dehydration—Air conditioners strip the air of its moisture. Dehydration, when combined with dry environment, can worsen dry eyes thereby making you prone to CVS.
  • Reading new, unfamiliar material at work—When you strain to read something new at your work desk and have to do it in a tight deadline, the mind can become stressed and agitated. Stress affects the whole upper body – the arms, shoulders, neck, and head.

7 Tips to avoid Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Remember to blink as it affects the eyes- Every 20 minutes, Blink 20 times in a row, look away from the screen for 20 seconds, Focus on an object 20 feet away.
  • Use proper lighting. Put shades and drapes on windows to avoid bright light coming from outside, when you are working on a computer.
  • Adjust the brightness of your computer screen.
  • Closely match the brightness of the environment with that of your computer screen by using the buttons on the monitor.
  • Reduce glare. Install an anti-glare screen on your monitor. Having an anti-reflective coating applied to your glasses. This will prevent glare and reflections on the backside of your lenses from reaching your eyes.
  • Take Frequent breaks. Avoid working on the computer screen for long hours. Walk while taking phone calls or get for a glass of water, chat with a colleague to relieve eye strain at regular intervals.
  • Exercise even when sitting in a sedentary job.

Author -

Dr. Amit Kumar – Assistant Vice President - Health Risk Consulting at Anviti Insurance Brokers
Dr. Amit Kumar has over 19 years’ experience in the non-life insurance sector in India with varied exposure like 5 years of clinical experience with Advance Neonatal resuscitation support certificate. 9 years of overall experience in health insurance in different sectors and has had over 5 years of health risk management experience.