Spending long hours in front of the computer screen is more of a norm rather an exception today! Are you also among those who spend more than 2 hours in a day either working or surfing the internet on a computer? And your eyes often feel tired and occasionally you suffer from blurred vision or stiff neck, headache and shoulder pains? If your answer is yes to any two of the questions, then like millions of others, you too suffer from the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Here are the obvious reasons of CVS and tips to get rid of it.
What causes CVS
Two major reasons that cause CVS are:
Blinking is a natural reflex of the 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 people working on the computer screen than the normal rate of 16 to 20 blinks per minute. Obviously, this causes dry eyes.
While working on computers we focus on short distance for a long time. This tires the ciliary muscles. Ciliary muscles are a ring of smooth muscle fibres that are responsible for changing the shape of the lens in the eye which helps us see distant and close objects.
What should you do
You can take following steps to reduce your 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 near vision and stretch your focusing muscles.
Take eye breaks. Avoid working long hours on your computer screen. Schedule your day in such a way that there is room for breaks. During the break close your eyes for twenty seconds. This has the same effect as the ‘Rule of 20’.
Use proper lighting. Put shades and drapes on windows to avoid bright light coming from outside, when you are working on a computer.
Adjust the brightness of your computer screen. Closely match the brightness of the environment with that of your computer screen, by using the buttons 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 reflect on your computer screen and reaches back to your eyes.
Try eye drops if needed. Ask your doctor for artificial tears that can help lubricate dry eyes.
There are some simple techniques to alleviate computer eye strain. Some of them are:
1 . Gently massage your eyelids daily. It will improve blood circulation to the eyes, relax the eye muscles and it will also stimulate the tear glands, which will help prevent dry eyes.
2 . Close your eyes and try to rotate your eye balls in the clock wise and anti clock wise direction after every two hours. Do it three times before you get back to work.
3 . Rub your palms for few seconds and cover your eyes with your warm palm for a minute. It helps relieve the eye strain.
4 . Mask your eyes with thinly sliced cucumber slices or frozen tea bags. When put on the eyes these mask refreshes tired eyes.
5 . Slowly bring the object closer to your eyes, as long as you can focus on it clearly. Then move the object farther from your vision. Repeat 10 to 15 times. This will improve blood circulation to the eyes, make the eye muscles more flexible, and improve focus and concentration.