Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Computers, tablets, and mobile telephones become an unavoidable working environment in a majority of our everyday jobs. Even though they help us work faster and easier, they also introduce the whole new area of problems. One of them is computer vision syndrome or CVS, the common medical issue that affects our eyes, neck and back. Namely, many people today spend a significant amount of hours by staring at computers. According to experts, reading from computer screen puts our eyes at strain, especially if it extends for a longer period. It is especially true if we use the old type of monitors known as cathode ray tubes. Experts suggest replacing them with LCD monitors that minimize screen glare and have less flickering of images. If we cannot avoid these old types of monitors, then they recommend increasing refresh rate as high as possible. To minimize the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, such as dry eyes, color perception, eye irritation, flickering, problems with vision, inability to focus for a longer period, back and neck pain, the proper lighting can be a key. A lot of offices have too bright lighting and use fluorescent lights. Experts suggest floor lamps with less intensive lights. The lighting should be almost 50 percent less intensive than it actually is. To minimize glare from daylight, drapes and shades can be very useful. If we want to learn more about how to lower the risk of computer vision syndrome, the article “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)” gives us the following tips.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Where should the monitor be located?

Most people find it more comfortable to view a monitor when the eyes are looking downward, yet many monitors are placed at or above eye level. Optimally, the computer monitor should be 20 to 30 degrees below eye level (about 5 or 6 inches) as measured from the center for the screen, and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.

How should the monitor be lighted?

Because glare on the computer screen, particularly from overhead lighting or windows, is another cause of eyestrain, position the monitor to avoid these problems. Use blinds or drapes at windows, and replace the light bulbs in desk lamps with bulbs of lower wattage. If there is no way to minimize glare from these light sources, consider buying a screen glare filter from a computer store. Through polarization, these filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.

How should your body be positioned in front of a computer?

Most computer users spend hours in the same position. Therefore, you should pay attention to comfort and position of your body, especially your arms, hands, and wrists. Chairs should be comfortably padded and conform to the body. If your chair cannot be adjusted, get a chiropractic pad, which contours to your lower back. Chair height should be adjusted so your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair has arms, they should be adjusted to provide arm support while you are typing. When your shoulders have to support the weight of your arms for long periods of time, your shoulders, back, and neck can ache.

Additionally, we can minimize the risk of computer vision syndrome by taking frequent breaks or change our focus every 20 minutes. There is research that shows decreased percentage of CVS in people who change focus from computer screen to some distant point for every 20 minutes. The main problem with CVS causes the less blinking. Namely, people who use computers everyday blink less frequently than others, and that leads to dry and irritable eyes. For them, regular use of lubricating eye drops is a relief. Although the computer vision syndrome is not harmful to eyesight, it can be irritable and uncomfortable, and its symptoms can represent a great problem.

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