Health desk- In the 21st century, we have entered a new era of digitalization. With so many advancements, this digital world also brings many health related problems. Be it work, study or leisure, people of all ages spend a lot of time in front of screens and it has now become an integral part of our lives. However, this increased screen time seriously affects our health, especially our eyes, one of which is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain, refers to a range of eye and vision disorders caused by prolonged use of computers, tablets, e-readers and mobile phones. While watching digital screens for long periods of time, many people develop eye irritation and vision problems. Spending more time on digital screens increases the level of discomfort. This pain and discomfort associated with CVS severely impacts our workplace performance and even recreational activities with family and friends.
Many factors contribute to the development of CVS, primarily affecting computer users who spend excessive time in front of screens. Some causes of CVS are:
Dry, irritated and burning eyes
Difficulty refocusing the eyes
Itching and redness in eyes
Neck and shoulder pain
Low-resolution or pixelated displays degrade contrast and clarity, causing eye strain. Due to reflections and glare, characters are not as strongly defined on many screens. This can cause strain on a person’s eyes while viewing words on the screen.
When using a screen, our eyes constantly focus and refocus to see print. Constantly changing your eyes in this manner can cause stress. The eyes react to scenes that are constantly moving and changing by shifting focus and sending rapidly changing images to the brain. All these tasks require your eye muscles to work very hard and put pressure on them.
Blinking is an important natural process that keeps the surface of the eye clean and lubricated. When people look at a screen, their blink rate decreases frequently. People normally blink 12 to 15 times per minute. However, most people blink only three to seven times each minute while using a computer. Screen use can also result in incomplete blinking. This means that when you blink, you only partially close your eyes. The surface of the eyes can dry out if you don’t blink completely or frequently.
Treatment and Prevention of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Staring at a screen for long periods of time is very stressful on our eyes. Following the 20-20-20 rule helps relax the eye muscles. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is a great way to take short breaks regularly and reduces eye strain to a great extent.
Blinking frequently: Blinking keeps the eyes moist and mucus free by spreading moisture and mucus on the eyes. If you don’t blink frequently, your eyes can become dry and irritated.
Adjusting proper screen angles: Set the computer screen 20 to 28 inches from your eyes. Sitting too close to a digital screen can increase the chances of causing strain on your eyes.
Reduce screen brightness and use an anti-glare screen. Screen glare occurs when light reflects off the screen. Light is often emitted from lighting fixtures mounted above the ground or from nearby windows. Consider using an anti-glare screen or applying an anti-glare filter to your monitor to reduce reflections and glare.
Lubricate eyes with eye drops: To keep your eyes moist and reduce dryness, use lubricating eye drops as needed, usually 3-4 times per day.
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