Computer Vision Syndrome – Part of the AOA’s March is Save Your Vision Month
Computer Vision Syndrome is a very common yet many Americans have no idea what Computer Vision Syndrome is, if in fact they are suffering from, it and what to do about it.
Along with the American Optometric Association, Rosin Eyecare is helping to educate folks on this condition.
Nearly 1 in 2 computer users suffers from Computer Vision Syndrome
According to a recent survey (the Second American E-Q Survey) 2 out every 5 computer users reported feeling symptoms related to Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms include Blurred vision, neck and back pain after using their computer for a few hours or after using a smart phone tablet or other hand held devices. And believe it or not those symptoms are part of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
What Causes CVS
When you work on a computer or hand held device you eyes are constantly adjusting to the subtle but constant changes of “pixels” that create the image on your screen. Additionally, most screens on either a computer of hand held device create a good deal of glare that creates visual noise further stressing your visual system. Finally – the position you hold your head when using your computer, tablet or smart phone, for protracted periods of time can create the neck and back discomfort. These symptoms are the most frequent health related complaint among computer users.
While the vast majority of Americans use a computer or some form of hand held tablet or phone, and nearly 1 out of 2 of us use those devices for three or more hours during the day, very few (less than 25%) actually have their screen properly positioned. No wonder so many people complain of symptoms related to CVS.
And pre-existing conditions such as those that are farsighted have astigmatism, issues with eye coordination, and age related conditions only add to this problem.
What can be done to avoid CVS?
There are specific steps you can take to reduce the chances or CVS. Here area few tips:
- Make sure you have regular eye exams annually to help identify CVS and to make sure your eyes are healthy and you are seeing clearly – If you need vision correction and do not have the correct prescription eyewear you will be straining your eyes even more when using a Computer leading to more significant blurred vision while on your device. At Rosin Eyecare, during your eye exam we go through a 21 point exam to make sure your eyes are healthy, your vision is clear and your eyes are working together properly when you focus on items in the distance and up close.
- Screen Resolution: Make sure you check the screen resolution on your computer. You will want to use the highest resolution your screen will handle and if the print looks too small adjust the font to a larger size to make it easier to read
- Screen Contrast and Brightness: Adjust your contrast so there is a clear difference between the object or type you are seeing on your screen and the background of the object. Adjust the brightness of the monitor – or smart phone / Tablet so the brightness is similar to the brightness in the room you are using the device or computer in. And don’t use the computer or device in a dark room.
- Screen issues such as Glare: Reduce and eliminate glare by using glasses with anti-glare coatings. This will increase the amount of light entering your eyes and reduce greatly reflections and glare. If you currently wear glasses for near work or your over the age of 40 and have a condition called Presbyopia – ask your Rosin Eyecare Professional about specially designed computer lenses for your eyewear – they are specifically designed for improving your vision while on a computer. This really makes a difference!
- Position of You in relationship to your screen: Position either your monitor when working on a computer or screen when working on a hand held tablet or phone so the distance is a comfortable viewing distance for you. Rule of thumb no closer than reading distance (about 40cm) to arms length. The distance will vary based on monitor size. If you spend a lot of time on a computer make sure your set-up addresses these factors:
- Monitor height: Top of monitor should be just beneath eye level with the bottom of the monitor tilted in toward you and the top angled away at about a 15 degree angle (anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees). You should not have to turn your head to left or right to comfortably see your screen – make sure it straight ahead.
- Monitor distance: about 2 feet away from you
- Keyboard: your keyboard should be angled to allow you to type with your wrists straight. Most prefer the keyboard to be a little lower than a typical desk height. A typical desk height is 29 inches high – so your keyboard should be a few inches below that height.
- Chair Height: This is often overlooked (no pun intended)! Your chair should be adjusted to allow your feet to rest flatly on the ground. This will reduce the amount of pressure on your back and legs. The back of the seat should be able to slide in so your back is resting against the backrest – and follow the curve in your back. Lastly your chair height should allow your lower arm to extend at the elbow straight ahead. So the angle formed between your upper arm and lower arm is a 90 degree angle
- 20 – 20 rule; Duration of Computer use: Rosin Eyecare realizes that life without a computer would be almost impossible in today’s world. But make sure you take a 20 second break from the screen every 20 minutes. So after 20 minutes – take a break with your eyes and look out across the room, or out the window to allow your eyes to focus out in the distance. Remember after 20 minutes – look away for 20 seconds.
Professional and clinically on target. My wife finally has received excellent care after being examined at Rosin. Highly recommend. Thank you.
I loved my visit here. I had a great doctor and I highly recommend her. She made the visit easy and smooth but was very detailed in her work. She was very open to my suggestions and gave me lots of options as far as lenses and gave me advice on how to improve my eyesight. The best visit with an Optometrist that I have ever had!