A big thank you to Stephanie at Spectacle Warehouse in Durbanville who wrote this blog for us.
Most of us who aren’t office-bound and stuck in front of a computer all day, probably have more exposure to electronic devices than what we might think. In most cases, symptoms like headaches and burning or red eyes can be explained by the ripple effect of a bad posture, poor workstation set-up and the need for spectacles. When putting all the puzzle pieces together, you will realise that many of these symptoms can be explained by Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS is a condition which includes blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, irritated eyes, frequent headache or neck pain as well as backache.
So, what can be done to combat CVS? When looking at your workstation set-up, it’s important to ensure that the glare from your monitor matches that of the surrounding room. Also ensure that there’s no direct light from an overhead lamp or sunlight shining onto your monitor. Curtains or blinds might assist with removing some of the glare. Tilt your screen so that it is perpendicular to overhead lighting, not parallel to it. Your monitor should be positioned 50-60 cm away from you and should be slightly (10-20 degrees) below your eyes. Newer generation screens come standard with a good quality anti-glare coating and a monitor which can easily swivel up, down and sideways will allow you to adapt it according to your needs. A monitor arm is a great tool to assist you with this adjustability.
Investing in a document stand or holder to place your documents between your keyboard and screen (in your direct line of sight) is another effective fix. This will reduce the need for your eyes to change focus. It will also assist with improving your seated posture, so in essence, reduce eyestrain, back and neck pain. Give your eyes a break every 40 minutes by looking out of the window or across a room at a distant object.
It might be a good idea to respond to the 2-yearly reminder for a visit to your Optometrist. Spectacles or eye drops can often solve the problems related to CVS.
To assist the Optometrist with prescribing the lenses to match your specific needs, a detailed description of your workstation will be helpful. Options for lenses vary from normal reading spectacles, office lenses, multifocal lenses and bifocal lenses. All of them having their strong points and their limitations. For this reason, a combination of two types of lens designs might be just what you need to cover all your visual demands. A good anti-reflective coating or blue-blocker coating can be added to most of the lenses to reduce glare and reflections. With the use of these coatings, your blinking rate can be reduced from 22 blinks per minute to 7 blinks per minute while working on a computer. An eyedrop with a good constitution can also make a big difference to the comfort of your eyes in terms of redness and burning.
So be on the lookout for the symptoms of CVS so that you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you are comfortable behind your electronic devise.