Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome, for obvious reasons, is a contemporary phenomenon. As more and more workplaces require individuals to give undivided attention to their computer screens, and as many forms of entertainment, recreation, and relaxation now also include computer or television screens, this relatively benign and avoidable discomfort has been elevated into the diagnosable condition Computer Vision Syndrome.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 90% of people who spend three or more hours in front of a computer screen are afflicted with Computer Vision Syndrome. The good news is that the condition is completely treatable. Its symptoms include familiar stress-related discomforts, such as headaches, neck pain, redness in the eyes, double vision, dry eyes and difficulty focusing the eyes.
Though it naturally follows that treatment (or really, the cure) for Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) would be to stop viewing computers, in today’s day and age that isn’t an option for many people suffering from CVS. If you are required to be at your computer most of the day there are a number of things you can do to reduce the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Make sure the computer screen is at an optimal distance with the center of the screen slightly below the eyes so your head and neck are not strained. Consider getting an anti-glare screen to cut down on glare from windows and overhead lights. Take breaks for 10 – 15 minutes after every two hours on the computer. Keep your eyes moisturized with over the counter lubricating drops.
If you are nearsighted, farsighted, presbyopic, or have astigmatism, consider purchasing an extra pair of glasses specifically made for mid range viewing distances. Computer glasses are now a common and one of the best ways to combat computer vision syndrome.
Do you spend much of your day sitting in front of a computer or do you have hobbies or other work that require you to focus at arm’s length? Do you ever experience shoulder and neck pain, develop headaches or experience eye strain from doing these activities for a prolonged amount of time. Do you wear progressive lenses and find it difficult to hold your head in just the right position to see clearly during these activities?
If so, there are lenses designed specifically to help you with these tasks. These lenses are commonly referred to as “computer lenses” as initially many people used them while working on their computers.
However, these lenses are also ideal for a multitude of near and intermediate activities by making it easier for your eyes to focus and help relieve eye strain often experienced during these tasks. They also help alleviate neck and shoulder pain by allowing a more natural and relaxed posture.
Computer lenses are an excellent choice for a second pair of glasses for tasks that demand a long period of intermediate vision, but they are not intended to replace your everyday eyewear.