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Healthy Living

Computer Vision Syndrome

New technology also brings new problems. Looking at a computer screen or video display unit for eight hours or more each day can be pretty stressful. This leads to problems with your eyes as well as with your posture.

Eye problems

  • Dry eyes
  • Redness or irritation in the eyes
  • Discomfort for contact lens users
  • Eye fatigue

Precautions to be taken

  • For dry eyes, you can use artificial tears to wet the eyes
  • The most convenient position for our gaze is to look a few inches below eye level. When you are seeing at this level the shoulders, neck and eyes are at a comfortable position. Seeing things above eye level means craning your neck and opening your eyes wider than you normally do. Sitting like this through the day and for months or years together will create vision and posture problems. Lower your computer monitor 4-8 inches below your eye level.
  • Blink consciously every five minutes.
  • Take a two-minute break each half hour. Shut your eyes and roll the eyeballs behind closed lids.

Workstation arrangement

  • The monitor must be 20–30 inches from your face. This is considered ideal distance. If the distance is greater or less than this, it could indicate the presence of eye problems or cause problems in vision and posture eventually.
  • The monitor must be straight in front of you. Do not keep it at an angle.
  • The centre of the screen should be 6 inches below eye level.
  • The illumination should be such that the light does not reflect from the computer screen. If bright light from the window falls directly on to the screen, rotate your work station to avoid it. If this is not possible, sadly, you have to tone down the light coming in with blinds or shutters. Similarly with florescent lights. It is good to have your work area well lit but it becomes pointless if the bright lights are going to bounce off the computer screen.
  • Bright lights at the periphery of vision and from directly overhead may also be irritants. Organise the lighting so that the illumination is comfortable for you.

Corrective equipment

  • Computer glasses or spectacles with anti-reflective coatings can be used.
  • Anti-reflective screens can be fitted on to your monitor.

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