COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME (CVS)
Now a days, almost every individual is equipped with their own electronic device such as a smart mobile phone, a laptop, computer, iPads and/or a tablet etc., making them pertinently dependent on these devices. We can firmly state that most of us today, have made these devices an integral part of our lives.
Many work places have equipped their staff with either laptops, computers and, some even with smart devices such as tablets and iPads etc., making their work lives easier and effective. Whilst this is the case, the fact of prolonged exposure to computer or in fact, any other electronic device might have impact on the eyes.
A commonly known fact is that the regular prolonged computer or, any other electronic devices users might encounter some changes in the eye vision or experience discomfort, or strain on eyes by the end of the day. Due to the routine work demand, one tends to ignore these symptoms that ultimately leads to what is commonly known as COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME (CVS).
One may have experienced at least one of the common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS):
- Blurred vision.
- Dry eyes.
- Neckand shoulder pain.
- Double vision
Asthenopia is a major complaint from those with Computer Vision Syndrome. Asthenopic symptoms in the eye normally are responsible for much of the severity in CVS. Giving proper rest to the eye and its muscles is highly recommended to relieve the associated eye strain caused due to prolonged hours of using computers or any other electronic devices.
The use of computers and digital electronic devices for both vocational and non-vocational activities including e-mail, internet access, whatsapp, facebook etc., and entertainment is almost universal in this modern world.
According to latest research that has been conducted, Computer Vision Syndrome affects about 90% of the people who spend three hours or more per day in front of a computer/laptop. While some are aware of this and manage the blue light emitted from the electronic devices, most are unaware of this, leaving them impacted with the exposure to CVS.
PREVENTION/ESCAPE FROM COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME:
CVS can be diagnosed by complete clinical eye examination, given that pre-existing uncorrected vision problems can increase the severity of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Decreased focusing capability is softened by wearing appropriate prescribed eye glasses. This can be advised by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist after detailed precision eye examination. Wearing these eyeglasses helps such people regain their ability to focus on near objects. People who are engaged in other occupations such as tailors (engaged in embroidery) can also experience similar symptoms and can be helped by these glasses.
Users using Computers/Laptops are often advised to take intermittent breaks and look at distant objects located about two to three meters and above.
One of the recommended approach is to consciously blink the eyes every now and then (this helps to replenish the tear film) and to look out of the window to a distant object, doing so provides rest to the internal eye muscles.
One of the catch phrases is the 20–20–20 rule i.e., every 20 minutes, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds. This basically gives a convenient distance and timeframe for a person to follow the advice from the optometrist and ophthalmologist. Alternatively, it is advised to close the eyes (which has a similar effect) and relax the face and neck muscles for two minutes, at least every half-hour.
When working on computer screens people tend to blink less which leads to the eyes drying out faster. Reminding people to blink or do blinking exercises is achieved via static reminders.
Dry eye is a symptom that is targeted in the therapy of CVS. The use of over-the-counter artificial-tear solutions can reduce the effects of dry eye in CVS. Prior to using artificial tear solutions, it is necessary to check whether dry eye is the actual cause of the problem or not.
As eye care practitioners, we strongly recommend an annual routine eye examination which is very important to determine the general condition of eyes so as to prevent and/or cure any eye complications/errors. Most of these conditions cannot be identified without eye examination and thereby, preventing from risk of further damage.
A simple slogan one should keep in mind is that “WE HAVE ONLY ONE PAIR OF EYES – LOOK AFTER THEM”.
– Article by Vision Care Optometrist, Makeni Mall branch