Is your computer making you blind ? Probably not. But a condition called Computer Vision Syndrom (CVS) is caused by prolonged computer use resulting in blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes and even neck and shoulder pain. In most cases, CVS is only temporary, and once you stop using the computer the symptoms go away. But if you’re like most people, you probably spend a lot of time on a computer at work or a home and CVS can be annoying. Follow these tips to reduce eye strain so you can have a comfortable computing experience.
Tips On Reducing Eye Strain When Using The Computer
There are several factors that cause Computer Vision Syndrome. While reading the text on your computer screen appears crisp, text is often less sharp and the contrast is greatly reduced. In addition, a lot of modern computer screens have a glassy appearance with high glare that can also cause a reduction in contrast.
Location of the computer screen – Placing your monitor at the correct angle will help prevent Computer Vision Strain. Many people find it more comfortable viewing a computer when the eyes are looking downward. Ideally, the computer screen should be about 15 to 20 degrees below your eye level as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches away from you.
Use a document holder – Reference materials should be positioned above the keyboard and below the monitor. If this isn’t possible, a document holder can be used beside the monitor. Your goal is to position documents so you do not need to move your head to look from the document to the monitor.
Lighting – Position the screen to avoid glare, particularly from overhead lights or windows.
Anti-glare screens – If there is no way to minimize glare from light sources, try using a screen glare filter to decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
Rest breaks – One of the most important things you can do to reduce eye strain is to take frequent breaks. Try to rest your eyes when using the computer for long periods of time. Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. Also, for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look away into the distance for at least 20 seconds to allow your eyes a chance to refocus.
Blink a lot – While no one should be told when to blink, blinking more frequently when using the computer helps keep your eyes lubricated.
Ditch that old CRT – If you’re still using an old, flickering CRT monitor (those that look like a TV set), get rid of it and buy an LCD monitor. Older monitors have low refresh rates that can also cause eye strain over time.
It’s easy to develop eye problems when working with computers, but taking the steps above (along with annual eye exams) should help you reduce eye strain when using the computer. If you have recommendations for reducing eye strain, let us know.