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26 Dec 2017


Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time.

Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, redness in the eyes, fatigue, eye strain, dry eyes, irritated eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, polyopia (multiple vision), and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (i.e. glare or bright overhead lighting) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan).

Prevalence: According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects about 90% of the people who spends three hour or more a day at a computer. Another study in Malaysia was conducted on 795 college students aged between 18 and 25. The students experienced headaches along with eyestrain, with 89.9% of the students surveyed feeling any type of symptom of CVS.

Therapy: Dry eye is a major symptom that is targeted in the therapy of CVS. The use of over-the-counter artificial tear solutions can reduce the effects of dry eye in CVS. Asthenopic (eye strain) symptoms in the eye are responsible for much of the severity in CVS.

Proper rest to the eye and its muscles is recommended to relieve the associated eye strain. Various catchphrases have been used to spread awareness about giving rest to the eyes while working on computers. A routinely recommended approach is to consciously blink the eyes every now and then (this helps replenish the tear film) and to look out the window to a distant object or to the sky-doing so provides rest to the ciliary muscles.

One of the catch phrases is the “20 20 20 rule”: every 20 mins, focus the eyes on an object 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds. This basically gives a convenient distance and time frame for a person to follow the advice from the optometrist and ophthalmologist. Otherwise, the patient is advised to close his/her eyes (which have a similar effect) for 20 seconds, at least every half-hour.

Decreased focusing capability is mitigated by wearing a small plus powered (+1.00 to +1.50) over-the counter pair of eyeglasses. Wearing these eyeglasses helps such patients regain their ability to focus on near objects. People who are engaged in other occupations-such as tailors engaged in embroidery-can experience similar symptoms and can be helped by these glasses. A Pacific University research study of 36 participants found significant differences in irritation or burning of the eyes, tearing, or watery eyes, dry eyes, and tired eyes that were each improved by filtering lens.

Source: Safety Journal, INDIAN SAFETY ENGINEER

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