Are you suffering from Computer
Many of you have jobs that require you to
work on the computer. These strenuous computer-intensive work conditions have
given rise to what is known as Computer Vision
Dr Harish S Belvi, a practising ophthalmologist (eye
specialist) based in Mumbai, says that this occurs "when there is a shortening
of tear break up time. In other words, tears that form a defensive film over the
eyes start drying up. This occurs when the eyes are open and looking into the
monitor for too long. The tears evaporate from the eyes faster, causing the eyes
to dry up."
CVS could lead to various eye problems.
Eyestrain, which is a
common problem, mostly occurs when we are working on something for a long time
without taking adequate breaks. It can be caused by activities such as watching
television, working on the computer, reading a book or studying for long hours.
In such cases, your eye muscles are working hard to help you focus.
During these times, your inner eye muscles tighten up, causing your eyes
to get irritated, dry up and feel uncomfortable. In addition, lack of sleep,
fatigue, poor lighting and an incorrect posture (such as slouching on your
chair), can aggravate eyestrain.
Symptoms include a mild headache,
coupled with irritated/ smarting eyes. You might also find it difficult to focus
after a prolonged session of reading or looking at your computer screen.
Prevention: Apart from placing your monitor 25 inches away from where
you sit, tilt it a little below eye level. How does this help? Dr Belvi says,
"When your eyes are looking down at a lower level, they are opened less as
compared to when you look directly into a monitor tilted at a higher level.
Thus, keeping the monitor at a lower level helps minimise evaporation of
moisture from your eyes."
Opt for LCD/ plasma monitors as they are more
soothing, compared to cathode ray tube monitors. "LCD or plasma monitors are
technologically more advanced. As a result, the pixilated picture quality and
colour contrast are soothing to the eyes. Compared to that, cathode ray tube
monitors are harsh on the eyes as they display focused light on the eyes," he
You can also set the lighting and brightness of your monitor to a
lower glare, as per your comfort level.
ii. Dry Eyes
This problem can
be worse for those who wear contact lenses to work on a daily basis. Dry eyes
occur when our blink rate declines considerably while working on a computer.
More so since we are looking straight ahead into the monitor, as compared to
desk work where we look down at our books/ files.
The very act of
looking into a monitor without blinking results in tear evaporation. An
air-conditioned office environment also contributes to this problem, dehydrating
our eyes and causing them to itch.
Some of the basic symptoms of dry
eyes are a feeling of dryness and irritation, a gritty/ grainy feeling in the
eyes, a blurring of vision, redness, feeling a strain on the eyes, general
stress, an intolerance to light, and headaches.
certain precautions like keeping a minimum distance of 25 inches from the
Fix an antiglare screen on your monitor.
visual breaks lasting few minutes, at intervals of 20 minutes -- such as looking
away from the screen for about a minute and then getting back to work. This will
help your eyes focus better.
Blink your eyes several times so they are
nourished with tears.
Use preservative-free re-wetting eye drops; these
can be safely used even by those of you who wear contact lenses.
iii. Vision related headaches
Most of us have suffered from vision related headaches. These signal
eyestrain and are usually caused by improper workplace conditions. Glare from
the computer screen and poor lighting are some of the main culprits. Some of the
main symptoms include headaches that occur mostly toward the front part of your
head or forehead, and you finding yourself pressing the point between your eyes
and upper part of your nose.
Prevention: If at home, have lemon tea. If
at work, try a hot cup of tea, as it helps soothe headaches.
thing is to get some rest for yourself and for your eyes," suggests Dr Belvi.
Edited by angel_wings - 22 April 2007 at 10:07am