Spending long hours before a laptop or computer screen is more of a norm today. With such prolonged staring at computer screens, it’s only normal to get your eyes affected. So, if your head pains almost perpetually, and your vision goes blurry because of strained eyes, you might be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
What are the causes of CVS?
Any eye problem caused due to the prolonged computer use can be termed as CVS. There are two major reasons that cause CVS:
- Less blinking: Blinking is the natural reflex of eyes to keep them moist. But when we work on computers, we blink less than the normal. Studies have shown that the blink rate decreases to as low as 6 to 8 blinks per minute for persons working on the computer screen than the normal rate of 16 to 20 blinks per minute. This causes dry eyes and may lead to CVS.
- Short focus: While working on computers we focus on short distance for a long time. This tires the ciliary muscles (a ring of smooth muscle fibers that help us see distant and close objects clearly) and the focus of your eyes become blurry. This, if ignored, can lead to CVS.
What are the common symptoms of CVS?
The most common symptoms that you may notice in CVS are:
- Recurrent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Recurrent eye pain
- Dryness in eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
What should you do?
Incorporate these lifestyle modifications to reduce the risk of CVS:
- Follow the rule of 20. Take a 20-second break and look 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This exercise will help you prevent strained vision and stretch your eye muscles.
- Take eye breaks. Avoid working long hours on your computer screen. Schedule your day in such a way that there is a room for at least 3 breaks. During the break close your eyes for twenty seconds. This has the same effect as the ‘Rule of 20’.
- Use proper lighting. While working on a computer, prefer choosing a seat where bright light doesn’t fall on your screen directly from outside. You can put shades and blinds to avoid excessive sunlight reflecting directly on your screen. In closed cubicles prefer a balanced white tone lighting.
- Adjust the brightness of your computer screen. Closely match the brightness of the environment with that of your computer screen, by using the display screen color option on the monitor.
- Minimize glare. Install an anti-reflective (AR) coating on your computer screen. You can also purchase a pair of AR lens if you wear glasses. This will cut down the glare of walls and finished surfaces, which reflects on your computer screen and shines back to your eyes.
- Put eye drops if needed. Ask your doctor for artificial tears that can help lubricate dry eyes.
Tips to treat CVS naturally
There are many natural ways to alleviate CVS. Explore here a few helpful tips to stay away from it:
- Massage your eyes. Gently massage your eyelids daily to relax the eye muscles and stimulate the tear glands. This will prevent dryness.
- Rotate your eyeballs. Close your eyes and try to rotate your eyeballs in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction after every two hours. Do it three times before you get back to work.
- Palm your eyes. Rub your palms for few seconds and cover your eyes with your warm palm for a minute. It helps relieve the eye strain.
- Mask your eyes with thinly sliced cucumber slices or frozen tea bags. When put on the eyes, these masks refresh tired eyes.
- Take a pen/ pencil and stretch it out at arm’s length. Focus on the tip of the pen/ pencil and start bringing it closer to you. Keep focusing on the tip until it is about 6 cm in front of your eyes. Hold the pen/ pencil for about 10 seconds and then bring it down. Repeat this activity 10 to 15 times. This will improve blood circulation to the eyes, make the eye muscles more flexible, and improve focus and concentration.
Lastly, you must keep in mind that an ophthalmologist can diagnose computer vision syndrome through an eye exam, with special attention paid to how the eye works and responds at computer distance. So, do take an opinion of your eye specialist whenever you notice CVS symptoms.
For any queries related to your eyes, you can consult an Ophthalmologist at www.healthcaremagic.com