Eyes are the windows to the world! We are all aware that eyes are an important part of the human body and requires to be taken care of. However, eye care is often disregarded and ignored until one suffers from a severe eye problem.
With an increase in the usage of technology, people have become extremely addicted to their mobiles and laptops. Given the work culture in this part of the world, more and more people spend hours every day on their mobile devices which results in most of them suffering from a condition called ‘Digital Eye Strain’.
Digital Eye Strain, commonly known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the most common computer related eye condition that occurs in people who spend most of their time working on computer screens. Digital Eye Strain or CVS does not signify one single eye problem, but describes a variety of vision related symptoms that are caused by regular usage of the computer or phone for more than a few hours. This condition affects not only adults but also children, given that kids these days choose to play on mobiles rather than play outside.
There is a small muscle called the ciliary muscle which helps the eye to focus at different distances. When you constantly stare at a computer or mobile screen, your eyes have to focus and refocus every now and then in order to process the graphics, images and text on the screen. Your eyes are required to constantly move up and down the screen which causes your eyes to follow the same path and movement over and over again, hence resulting in excessive eye muscle strain. The screens of telephones, tablets, computers and laptops use small pixels that together create the image you see on the screen. In addition to this these screens also produce an additional glare, flicker and contrast requiring the eye to adjust further. Constantly staring at the screen of an electronic device reduces the tendency of blinking which is an important mechanism that replenishes the protective tear film in the eye. On an average, an individual blinks 15-20 times per minute. Constantly staring at the digital screens for prolonged periods of time reduces the amount of blinking, thereby affecting the tear film.
In addition to the constant focus towards the screen of an electronic device, other factors including lighting in the room, distance of an individual from the screen, seating posture etc. also cause the condition. There are various symptoms associated with the condition, they are;
- Dry & Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Irritation in the eye
- Constant headaches
- Double vision
- Difficulty in changing focus
- Severe back, neck and shoulder pain caused by poor posture
Most of these symptoms experienced by people are only short term and improve with reduction in usage of electronic devices. However, in some cases depending on the level of an individual’s visual ability, the condition may worsen if symptoms continue to persist and are left untreated.
Some of the ways to manage this condition are as follows:
- Reduce the screen time for electronic devises and take regular breaks
- Adjust the display settings on your electronic devise, use of a good readable size of font and optimal brightness
- Maintain good working posture and ensure a good distance between your eyes and screen
- Reduce to a great extent any glare on the screen by keeping the windows around closed and reducing direct overhead lighting
- Make it a point to blink a minimum of 15 times per minute as it helps in keeping the eyes moist
- While using a computer, tablet or mobile phone, make sure that the lighting around is neither too dim nor too dark
Above all ensure that you get routine eye examinations, which is crucial in detecting and treating any computer related vision problems. Regular eye examinations and the right viewing habits can help prevent and reduce the development of any symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome.