Computer Vision Syndrome: Know the Consequences of Eye Strain Caused by Prolonged Viewing of a Computer Screen

Computers have become an integral part of everyone’s life.

These helpful tools have made things much faster and simpler, but they have brought new eye-related problems with them.

These problems affect all those who spend a lot of time working on computers every day.

However, these computer-related eye problems are mainly due to our own wrong habits. I call this group of problems e-pain (which can mean electronic / eye pain) which is also known as Computer Vision Syndrome.

What are the problems?

  • Pain.
  • Redness.
  • Wateriness.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Poor concentration.

Pain and eye strain are highly common among computer users

What Causes These Problems?

An understanding of the causes of these symptoms can help us take the appropriate preventive measures. It is important to know that computer monitors do not emit harmful rays or radiation (monochrome or color).

The causes of the problem are:

  • Constantly looking at a close distance (to the monitor).
  • Decreased blink rate.

Convergence fatigue

When we look at a nearby object, our eyes move towards each other (converge) to fixate on the target.

Prolonged viewing of the monitor at a short distance leads to convergence fatigue and its weakness / insufficiency. This consequently leads to eye strain, pain and headache.

Infrequent blinking

Decreased blink speed while working on computers leads to instability of the tear film of the eyes. This leads to a feeling of dryness, irritation, redness and a reflection of the eyes.

What is the solution?

There is no single magic bullet for this problem.

The following set of measures can be taken together to obtain relief:

Adequate visual hygiene:

  • The monitor should be placed about 2 to 3 feet from your eyes (or the most comfortable distance).
  • Do not constantly stare at the monitor for a long time.
  • Take your eyes off the screen every 5-10 minutes.
  • Every half hour or so, close your eyes for 1-2 minutes to give them rest.
  • Every hour or so, take a 5-minute break (take a walk or run an errand).
  • Make a conscious effort to blink more often. Avoid sitting in front of an air conditioner facing the draft while working on the computer.
  • Convergence Exercises : Regular eye exercise can help prevent problems caused by working on computers or even heavy reading or writing jobs. These exercises are recommended for all IT professionals, students, office workers, others.

Sit in an upright chair and look at a small object far away. Then, extend a feather at eye level at arm’s length and look at its tip.

Gradually bring the pencil closer to your eyes to a point where you feel a slight strain on your eyes. The tip of the pen should remain clear and unique in appearance.

Hold the pen in this position for about half a minute and then gradually bring it back to arms length. Hold it here again for about half a minute and then bring the pen closer to your eyes again.

Repeat the previous step 10 times and then look again at the small object that is far away. Repeat the whole sequence again.

At first, this exercise should be done for 5-10 minutes only once a day in the morning at a time when you are cool and rested.

After a week, it should be increased to twice a day and after two weeks three times a day. Avoid exercising when you are tired or have eye pain or a headache.

In the initial period when you start to exercise the pain in the eyes and the headache may increase, but this should not discourage you. As you continue to exercise, you will gradually feel relief from symptoms over 2-3 weeks.

Continue exercising for 2 months to develop good eye muscle strength and reserve power.

Lubricating eye drops

Lubricant eye drops instilled 3-4 times a day help soothe the eyes and relieve irritation and redness.

There are many preparations available in the market, for example, Tears Plus, Hypotears Plus, Moss, Moisol, among others.

Although allergy or reactions to these eye drops are rare, however, care should be taken when using them, and if they cause irritation, redness, or inflammation. The drops must be discontinued immediately.

It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist before using any eye medication.

Anti-glare glasses do not provide any relief.