Computer Eye Strain
Computer Eye Strain | Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Eye Strain or computer vision syndrome can occur when you spend a long period of time staring at mobile, tablets or computer. The longer digital time you use, the more eye discomfort and vision problem you will have.
Why does Computer eye strain occur?
1- There is a muscle inside the eye that is responsible for accommodation or near vision. This muscle is called ciliary muscle and it is attached by ligaments to the natural crystalline lens. When you are looking for object in the far distance this muscle is relaxed to flatten the lens while for near objects, this muscle contracts, and the natural lens changed in shape so that it can direct the lights towards the retina. Contraction of this muscle for long time will cause muscle fatigue, discomfort and ocular pain.
2- Blinking rate. Starring at digital screen for a long time can reduce the blinking rate below the normal range which is 15 blinks per minutes. Low blinking rate can speed up the rate of tear evaporation and cause dry eyes.
Factors that can increase the incidence of Computer vision syndrome:
1- Poor room lighting.
2- Glare, reflection and high screen lighting.
3- Low contrast of the letters and the background.
4- Too close to the screen.
5- Uncorrected refractive errors especially astigmatism and hyperopia increase the demand on the visual system. Presbyopic patient who doesn’t wear glasses with the proper correction of near and intermediate distance.
6- Wrong posture which can cause neck and shoulder pain.
Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain
The symptoms of computer vision syndrome are:
2- Blurry vision.
3- Ocular pain.
4- Red eye.
5- Eye irritation with burning sensation.
6- Shoulder and neck pain.
Treatment of Computer Vision syndrome
If you spend long periods of time at the computer, eye strain is nearly inevitable. However, there are few things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms:
1- Undergo an eye exam to ensure that you don’t have uncorrected refractive errors such as astigmatism or hyperopia.
2- Choose eyeglasses or contact lenses with proper lens coating to reduce glare. Blue light blocking glasses also help to reduce eye strain. If you don’t have refractive errors you can use special designed Computer glasses that are designed for computer use.
3- Resting your eyes for few days from using the computer and mobile will usually ease symptoms of computer eye strain.
4- keep your computer monitor approximately at arm's length away from you. This is the distance at which the monitor is meant to be seen; any closer or further can be increase the demand on your eyes.
5- Your monitor should be 10 to 20 degree below the eye level, rather than too high or too low, which forces your eyes to look at the screen at abnormal and odd angle. These abnormal angles add more demands on your eyes and also on your neck.
6- Keep the screen clean and remove light sources that are causing glare. The glare of a bright light can be distracting for your eyes as they try to focus on the content of the screen.
7- Focus on blinking. As you look at a screen, you tend to blink less frequently. Blinking wets the eye surface. If you do not blink frequently enough, your eyes can dry out quickly and become uncomfortable, especially if you are using your computer in an office, an environment which tends to have very dry air. Slowly open and close your eyes a dozen times every 15 to 20 seconds in order to keep your eyes lubricated.
8- Rest your eyes Frequently throughout the day by closing them for a few minutes or by getting up and walking to another area and focus on objects at a distance of at least 20 feet, rather than close-up objects such as a computer screen. As your vision shifts from close-up to distance viewing or vice versa, your eyes are forced to refocus and the muscles inside your eyes start to relax. When you do look away from the screen, you may experience focusing fatigue, which can cause blurry vision or difficulty focusing for a few seconds as your eyes adjust to the new view. Concentrate on an object in the distance to help your eye muscles relax.
9- Scan exercises can also help to relax strained eyes. Focus on an object in the room other than your computer. Then, without stopping, slowly move your eyes around the room. Concentrate to focus on each far object that you see.
10- The 20-20-20 rule. This is a simple rule that you can use it to reduce eye strain. It means for every 20 minutes you spend on the computer, look at something that is at least 20 feet away and for at least 20 seconds.
11- Use lubricant eye drops to keep your eye moist and reduce the incidence of dry eyes.