Increasing numbers of people are spending the majority of their working day in front of a computer screen. This can cause a temporary condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome.
Computer Vision Syndrome is caused by focusing the eyes on a computer display for uninterrupted periods of time. This makes your eyes work harder than usual and can result in eye fatigue. Reading something on a computer screen is different to reading a paper document as the letters are not as sharply defined. Glare and reflection, as well as the brightness of a screen, also make your eyes work harder.
Usually, people blink 15 times a minute. When staring at a screen this decreases to just twice a minute which can result in dry, itchy eyes.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome include blurred vision, redness in the eyes, eyestrain, dry eyes, irritated eyes and double vision or trouble refocusing. There are several measures that can be taken to prevent or reduce Computer Vision Syndrome.
The location of your computer screen can be altered in order make your eyes more comfortable. The computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about four or five inches) as measured from the centre of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
Lighting is another factor to consider. Position your screen to avoid glare from windows and overhead lighting. Draw curtains or blinds to illuminate excessive outdoor lighting. Changing the position of your screen may help you avoid reflection but to further avoid glare, invest in a glare-minimising screen. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen. Adjusting the brightness settings on your computer will also help.
Take frequent breaks. One way to avoid Computer Vision Syndrome is to reduce the time spent looking at a screen. Vision experts suggest looking away from your computer every 20 minutes. Looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds will relax the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.