Most Brits use computers on a daily basis, whether for work purposes, to play games or chat with friends. While PCs are great for helping us stay connected and are a crucial part of office life, staring at a screen for too long can have severe short-term effects on eyesight and over time significantly impair our eye health.
This condition is a branch of repetitive strain injury that usually occurs when people position their computer screen incorrectly.
Eyestrain is caused by glare, which often results from screens being too dark or too bright and tires out the eye muscles as we struggle to make out text or images. Direct glare is when the sun shines directly in a person’s eyes and damages them, while indirect glare is when light reflecting off surfaces reaches the eyes.
One way to alleviate symptoms of eyestrain is to make sure the top of your computer monitor is no higher than eye level, so your eyes do not have to work too hard when viewing the screen. You may also want to tilt the monitor back slightly – between ten and 15 degrees – so you do not receive glare from any ceiling lights.
Dry eye syndrome
Anyone who spends a considerable amount of time each day looking at a computer is at risk of developing dry eye syndrome, a condition that occurs when the eyes become inflamed.
This is due to a lack of tears being produced, or tears evaporating too quickly, which in turn is caused by a blockage of the oil secreting glands, resulting in great discomfort for the sufferer. Among the most common symptoms are dry or sore eyes, the feeling of having something in your eye, a burning sensation, watering or blurred vision.
One way of preventing your eyes from drying out is by blinking frequently, as this washes them out in naturally therapeutic liquids. You should also adjust your laptop or computer in such a way that you are not staring or straining your eyes too much.
Computer vision syndrome
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, around 90 per cent of individuals who spend at least three hours a day at a PC suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS).
Symptoms of the condition are similar to that of eyestrain and can also include blurred or double vision, irritated eyes, dizziness and trouble refocusing your eyes. (more…)