As the number of people working from home continues to increase, so does the amount of time spent working remotely on a computer screen.
The extra time spent at a computer, whether it’s on a desktop, tablet, e-reader, or cell phone, is creating more potential for eye-related problems. This can lead to what is known as computer vision syndrome or CVS. An improperly placed device can lead to CVS, resulting in dry eyes, irritation, loss of concentration, and an overall negative impact on work performance.
This occurs for various reasons. First, significant muscular effort is required to maintain clear vision at close working distances. For hours, the visual system simply experiences muscle fatigue. Second, sustained close work also demands tremendously focused attention and can result in a tunnel of perception that increases distraction and reduces attention span.
Finally, anyone who works on a computer has impaired blinking function. The blinking produces moisture and is an essential component of how the eye takes care of itself. Regular blinking occurs approximately 15 times per minute. However, studies indicate that flickering only occurs 5 to 7 times per minute while using computers and other digital display devices. Less moisture on the surface of the eye can cause blurred vision, tearing and burning in the eyes.
Here are five ways to combat computer vision syndrome and maintain optimal eye health.
1. Position the viewable area of the screen slightly below the line of sight. Assuming good ergonomics at the desk and chair, the computer should be positioned for a slightly downward look.
The slightly downward gaze is more pleasing to the eye than looking straight ahead or looking up.
It helps lower the eyelid and helps eliminate the chances of being affected by drafts, especially when there is an air conditioning unit in the room. Helps protect against dryness. Additionally, proper screen position promotes good posture with both feet flat on the floor.
2. Eliminate or reduce glare from the screen. Mild toxicity or discomfort can result from too much glare. It can affect a person’s ability to perform their normal job function. A good test is to place a folder on your head while looking at your workstation. If it becomes easier to read with the folder, the user may have problems of discomfort and glare.
Glare can be reduced by placing a screen on the computer terminal. The anti-glare coating on the glasses can also help.
3. Minimize exposure to blue light. As computers become more modern and sophisticated, so does exposure to blue light. This type of light has immediate consequences, including impact on long-term macular health, the part of the eye that processes 20-20 vision. Also, blue light can affect the sleep cycle. Filters and coatings can help reduce exposure to blue light.
4. Allow workstations to allow peripheral vision. Workstations must be constructed to allow for ambient visual stimulation or eye activity in peripheral vision. Vision works best when you are exposed to a full range of visual stimulation, not just one type, while you cannot see others.
5. Take breaks. To better prevent computer-related eye stress, users should keep their attention on flickering, place screens in the right place, avoid multiple screens, and take breaks. Getting up, moving around, and perhaps light stretching or rotations of the arms, wrists, neck, and back will help relieve a high degree of eye stress and ensure a more productive work experience.