Learn how to easily reduce or eliminate symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a series of eye and vision-related issues triggered by extensive computer use. Our bodies have not evolved at the same speed as technology. As a result, many frequent computer users experience physical side effects. CVS encompasses a range of problems which manifest from lengthy computer use. According to the American Optometric Association, the most common symptoms of CVS include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
The American Optometric Association states that the following factors may contribute to CVS symptoms:
- Poor lighting
- Glare on the computer screen
- Improper viewing distances
- Poor seating problems
If you suffer from CVS symptoms, it is best to see a physician for a comprehensive eye exam and treatment. In the interim, there are simple measures you can take to help minimize the symptoms of CVS:
- If you’re working for more than an hour at the computer, take a 5-10 minute break to perform a non-computer related task.
- Do the 20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes spent at the computer, take a 20 second break to look into the distance. This enables you to give them a rest and a chance to refocus.
- Adjust your lighting. You do not want glare from windows or overhead lighting on your computer screen.
- Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size on your computer settings to alleviate eyestrain.
- Adjust the distance your computer screen. The center of the screen should be approximately 20-40 inches from your eyes.
- Adjust the angle of your computer screen. It is recommended to have the screen tilted at a 15-20 degree angle.
The United States Department of Labor website, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/computerworkstation/, provides helpful guidelines to properly set up an ergonomically correct computer workstation. It’s always best to consult with a medical professional if you have questions or concerns.