Millions of Americans spend a large portion of their day working on computers. In fact, for many, staring at a computer screen monitor for hours on end is just part of their average workday. Unfortunately, spending too much time staring at a screen can put a strain on your eyes and cause vision problems including one known as CVS.
What is CVS
CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome is not actually one specific problem but according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), is broadly classified as “asthenopia” or eye strain. Some of the diagnoses which may be associated with CVS include myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia, refractive errors, dry eyes, presbyopia and others.
Symptoms of CVS
Spending time staring at a computer screen without allowing your eyes time to relax, using poor lighting, sitting at odd angles and with improperly adjusted contrast and resolution may cause many symptoms of CVS which may include:
- Eyestrain (Non-Specific Ocular Discomfort)
- Blurred Near Vision
- Blurred Distant Vision
- Dry or Irritated Eyes
- Neck and/or Backaches
- Diplopia (Double Vision)
As we get older, the chances of feeling these symptoms may increase and finding a way to prevent CVS becomes even more important.
How to Help Prevent or Reduce Your Risk of CVS
CVS may be prevented by simply paying attention to your eyes and how you are feeling when you work at your computer. Getting up and stretching, improving lighting, resting your eyes and other little changes can all reduce the stress caused by CVS to your body and your eyes. Take a look at some simple practices which may help you reduce the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome on your body.
- Correct the lighting in the room. While this may be difficult in an outside work environment, if you work from home, this is an easy fix. Make sure the lighting is comfortable, try to take advantage of natural light and adjust your computer desk to reduce glare and lessen eye strain when you work.
- Adjust your screen to a comfortable height. The less you have to crane your neck, the less likely your neck will be strained.
- Take breaks to rest your eyes. Get up and walk around and move your eyes. At the very least, look away from your screen and focus at a different distance before looking back at the screen.
- Be sure you chair offers support for your neck and back to reduce strain and headaches.
- Blink more often. One of the common effects CVS has on eyes is to dry them out. Staring at a screen reduces the number of times you blink. Consciously blink your eyes more to lubricate them.