SOS: Computer Vision Syndrome can cause serious eye conditions

Possibly 21st century’s most common health complaint is tired eyes. These days, many of us have jobs that require us to stare at computer screens for hours at a time and that can put a real strain on your eyes. Working adults aren't the only ones affected; kids, who use computers or stare at tablets, can have issues, too. Here, the doctors prescribe a perfect plan to protect your eyes in the digi age

SOS: Computer Vision Syndrome can cause serious eye conditions

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), the medical term for digital eye strain, is best avoided by being aware of it. Dr Gaurav Luthra, President, Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society of India, informed, “CVS is more commonly seen in computer professionals and students. CVS which is also known as digital eye strain is caused due to prolonged hours of exposure to digital devices like computer screens, laptops, smartphones and video games. When we sit for long hours in front of the computer, we forget to blink. Since, we the focus is on the screen, the blink rate goes down.”

According to doctors, staring at computers, cell phones, tablets and laptops for a major part of the day, can lead to red or dry eyes, headaches, brow ache and fatigue occur. “CVS not only takes a toll on your eye, but, on the whole body, that is why it is called as syndrome. Prolonged exposure to electronic devices can cause, blurred vision, light sensitivity, fatigue, burning and itchy eyes, dry eyes, neck, back and shoulder pain’ informed  Dr Satanshu Mathur, Medical Director and consultant with the Hi-Tech Eye Institute and Laser Centre, Uttarakhand.

As per the statistics shared by Vision Council Report, digital eye strain or Computer Vision Syndrome CVS affects around 50 to 90 per cent of computer workers. The sections of people primarily affected are: IT/ITES Professionals, BPOs/call centre employees, advertising professionals and game developers and designers.

Pranita Shetye, a 35-year-old Dahisar resident, said, “Since I am a graphic designer by profession, I spent nearly 12 hours in front of the computer. But in the last month, due to eye strain, my eyes started burning and itching. I consulted an eye specialist, who prescribed eye lubricants and suggested to use anti-glares for the computer.”

However, doctors stressed on taking frequent breaks, using lubricants and anti glares. Dr Rahul Baile, Director, cataract, refractive surgery and glaucoma services, Prism eye institute and research centre, said, “Follow the golden rule of 20-20. Avoid using electronic devise for more than 20 minutes. Blink 20 times a minute. Take a walk after every 20 minutes, as it will relax the eye muscles and increase the blinking of the eyes.  Close your eyes and place your palms on them, which will allow your eyes to relax.”

Dr Luthra advised, “Take a break frequently, use lubricants for the cornea so the so the tear film gets replenished and there is less strain on the eyes. Washing the eyes is not good and it will further worsen the situation. Maintain a safe distance from the computer monitor by placing it away at an arm’s length. Computer monitor should be below your thigh level. Switch on the lights in the room and the air conditioning draft shouldn’t come straight into your eyes.”

Adding to it, Dr Mathur suggested placing the computer screen at 4 to 8 inches below the eye level and keyboard and mouse pad below the elbows, to minimize the screen brightness and use anti-glare or glasses for the screens.