I´ll bet you are doing what I am doing right at this very moment – sitting in front of the computer. Just like what millions of other people all over the world are doing right now. Whether you are doing it for business or for fun, sitting in front of the computer for prolonged periods of time can have some health consequences that need to be taken seriously. And one of the consequences is the effect on our vision.
Here´s what happens when we work in front of a computer screen:
- We look straight ahead for long stretches.
- We blink less often.
- We usually work indoors, in an environment of low air humidity – such as in an office or at home.
All these can contribute the CVS.
In addition, we also use specific vision skills that place extra demands on our already overworked visual system, namely:
- Ocular motility – the ability of the eyes to move in various positions.
- Accommodation – the ability of the eyes to focus clearly at various distances.
- Vergence – The ability to move the eyes in (convergence) or out (divergence).
The computer screen itself presents some physical barriers that affect our vision, namely:
- Glare and reflections
- Image refresh rates and flicker
- Working distances and angles
Here are some tips from the AOA for a healthy, comfortable vision at the computer:
- Have a regular comprehensive eye exam to ensure your eyes are healthy and that you have the correct eyeglass or contact lens prescription (if necessary). Be certain to tell your optometrist about the computer work you do.
- Wear glasses that are specifically designed to function comfortably at the computer. The lenses you wear for day-to-day activities may not be the best for working at the computer.
- Practice the following eye care tips:
- Rest the eyes
- Blink forcefully
- Use a humidifier
- Instill artificial tear
4. Set up your work station for comfortable and effective computer use, as recommended below.
o The top of the monitor should be slightly below horizontal eye level. Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10 degree to 20 degree angle. The center of the monitor should be 10 degrees to 20 degrees below your eyes. This is 4-9 below your eyes at a distance of 24″