Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a now famous enemy of the modern workforce – but there’s another contender running for first place. If you haven’t yet heard of Computer Vision Syndrome, you soon will.
Although less severe than Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, is the most common computer-related injury today.
As defined by the American Optometric Association, CVS is a complex of vision problems related to computer use. Some symptoms of this newer syndrome include blurred vision problems, neck or shoulder pains, headaches and eyestrain.
If you are one of the many workers out there suffering from symptoms like these, you may be wondering what you can do about them! Though there isn’t a magic pill that will cure you of Computer Vision Syndrome, there are some things you can do to improve your symptoms.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the things you can do to help your eyes to suffer less.
1) Monitor Your Monitor
Simply by changing the position of your monitor, you can avoid some of the uncomfortable and awkward eye or head movement that are associated with CVS.
Your monitor should be directly in front of your eyes, at a distance 18 to 28 inches. The very top of your monitor’s case should be level with your eyes so that you are looking down on to the actual screen in a way similar to reading books.
Try adjusting your monitor by tilting it slightly back until you find a natural, and comfortable, position. If you are reading paper documents as well as reading computerized documents, be sure that your paper documents are at a similar angle as your computer screen to make life a bit easier on your tired eyes.
You can buy document holders to attach to your monitor at most office supplies stores.
2) Beware the Glare
Your office lighting might be harming your eyes! Do you have a heavy glare in your office? Try finding where it’s coming from – whether it’s a window, a skylight, a shiny mirror or someone else’s computer screen.
Once you’ve identified the offending glare, take steps to get rid of it. Get some blinds, move your desk or buy a glare reducing screen for your monitor.
Try turning down the overhead lights if you can and adjust the brightness on your computer screen so that there’s less of a jarring imbalance between the lighting in your room and the brightness of your computer monitor. Lastly, be sure your computer monitor is clean.
Staring at a computer screen that’s dirty makes even more work for your eyes!
3) Schedule an Eye Vacation
We know all too well how easy it is to lose track of time when you’re working. That expression that goes something like, “you’ve got your eyes glued to it” rings true for many people during their workdays.
Start paying attention to how long you’ve had your eyes glued to your screen – and take notice of how often you take an eye-break. Not too often, right? Start scheduling yourself some time every hour to unglue your eyes and look around the room. Close your eyes and rest. Blink.
4) Computer Users with Special Needs
Seniors and small children are both at greater risk of developing Computer Vision Syndrome. Seniors should make sure that their workstations are set up to maximize their eye comfort and that they’ve reduced their exposure to glare as much as possible.
Workers over the age of 50, according to the American Optometric Association, actually require twice as much light as younger workers!
How many times has your son or daughter hopped on the computer after you were done with it? Small children share computers with adults, and can easily injure their eyes by using monitors in poor positions for their smaller statures.
Parents should try and ensure that their children are properly seated at a workstation adjusted for smaller heights. Parents should also make sure that children take eye vacations and learn proper computer skills at an early age.
As a final thought, stop squinting and straining to see your computer screen. Adjust your monitor so that you don’t need to. All that squinting and straining can lead to a host of issues related to CVS.
Also, try to keep up with the 10-10-10 Rule when working in front of a computer for long periods of time. Every 10 minutes, stop and look at something 10 feet away for at least 10 seconds.
If you are having these symptoms, be sure to discuss them with a qualified professional!