By Terry Orr
Now that I use desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone throughout the day, every day – headaches are more frequent and severe. It took me a little while to connect all those dots to understand what was causing my headaches. Doing my research for this article – I found the name associated with this problem: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Staring at a computer monitor for hours on end has become a part of the modern workday. And inevitably, all of that staring can put a real strain on your eyes.
The name for eye problems caused by computer use is computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is not one specific eye problem. Instead, the term encompasses a whole range of eyestrain and pain experienced by computer users.
Research shows computer eye problems are common. Somewhere between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble.
There's no evidence that computer vision syndrome causes any long-term damage to the eyes -- for example, cataracts. However, regular computer use can be the source of significant eyestrain and discomfort.
If you have computer vision syndrome, you may experience some or all of these symptoms:
· Blurred vision
· Double vision
· Dry, red eyes
· Eye irritation
· Neck or back pain
How many of these do you experience?
Making a few simple changes in your work environment can help prevent and improve computer vision symptoms:
· Cut the glare. Change the lighting around you to reduce glare on the computer screen. If a nearby window is casting glare on your screen, move the monitor and close the shades until the glare disappears. Ask your employer to install a dimmer switch for the overhead lights if they're too bright, or buy a desk lamp with a moveable shade that distributes light evenly over your desk. Putting a glare filter over the screen monitor also can help protect your eyes.
· Rearrange your desk. Researchers find that the optimal position for your computer monitor is slightly below eye level, about 20 to 28 inches away from the face. At that position, you shouldn't have to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to see what's on the screen. Put a stand next to your computer monitor and place any printed materials you're working from on it. Then, you won't have to look up at the screen and back down at the desk while you type.
· Give your eyes a break. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes or so and either gaze out the window or scan the room for about 20 seconds to rest your eyes. Blink often to keep the eyes moist. If eyes are getting overly dry, try using lubricating eye drops.
· Tweak your computer settings. You don't have to live with the factory-installed settings on your computer if you're uncomfortable. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size until you find the best settings for your vision.
Now that we know the source of our problem is and helpful hints to reduce the issue, we have one more thing to do. Tell our eye and primary care doctors!
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[All images from Google]