Computer vision syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome: The New Age Health Problem

Ever felt your eyes blurring when you went out for a coffee break after sitting at your system for a long period of time? Or perhaps your headache keeps increasing everyday and no amount of pills or balms will soothe that niggling pain at the back of your neck? Do you feel dizzy sometimes when you return from office? If you have felt one or all of the above symptoms at some point of time, then you might very well be suffering from a new-age disease called the ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’.

This syndrome affects people and students who work for more than 2 to 3 hours in front of a computer continuously without taking a break. Staring at that computer screen for long periods of time, whether it is for work or otherwise serves no good to your eyes, say ophthalmologists dealing with numerous such patients every day who come to them to fix computer vision syndrome.

The computer vision syndrome or CVS can result from staring at any digital screen for uninterrupted or ‘protracted’ periods of time. That is why it is also referred to as Digital Eye Strain amongst the optometric association of doctors. People within the age of 15 to 45 are known to have the highest probability of displaying symptoms of this disease. Although the effects of CVS are temporary, when neglected for years together, it can lead to serious issues like double vision and blurry eyes causing major problems to a patient’s daily life. Therefore it is recommended by doctors everywhere that if your work or studies involve a lot of computer time, then it is advisable to get your eyes checked every six months, especially if you start feeling uncomfortable while working at night or even during the day.

How to fix Computer Vision Syndrome?

  • Take regular breaks while you work, even if your boss has a problem with it. If it is not possible to get away from your system due to the nature of your work, just close your eyes and stretch in your chair. Doing this every half an hour makes a whole lot of difference to the amount of harm that the screen will do to your body.
  • Follow the ’20 20 20’ rule that some ophthalmologists swear by. This rule has three simple steps. After every 20 minutes, look away for around 20 seconds at an object approximately 20 meters away from you. This supposedly helps in relaxing the eye muscles and helps in reducing stress levels on your eyes and brain. Give it a try next time you are at office (only make sure that the object is not your boss!).
  • Always make sure that the brightness of your laptop, smart phone or kindle is turned down to the minimum possible, especially when you are studying or reading at night. The brighter the computer-screen the more harm it does to your eyes and the more the chances of developing CVS.
  • Never spend long hours staring at any digital screen with the lights turned off. This goes for all those night-birds who love lying in bed with their kindles or smart phones. This causes extreme stress to the eyes and further increases chances of getting computer vision syndrome.

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