Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome
“Computer vision syndrome” is the term given for the group of symptoms that can arise from hours of working at a computer. They include eyestrain, headache, blurry near vision, slowness in changing focus, light sensitivity, eye irritation, and pain in the neck, shoulder and back. According to the University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, there are some things you can do to prevent or correct these problems:
- Position the screen 4-9 inches below eye level so that you gaze downward and prevent neck strain. Adjust your chair accordingly.
- Locate the monitor right in front of you, 20-28 inches from the eyes.
- If you’re consulting a document, position it the same distance from you as the screen.
- Limit glare by positioning lamps so that light is not reflected in the screen and does not disturb your peripheral vision.
- Limit reflections further by shading the screen with a file folder or purchasing an anti-reflection screen.
- Clean the computer screen often.
- Work in a large, legible font and reduce it later if necessary.
- Have your eyeglass prescription checked regularly. Measure the distance of the screen from your eye and the angle at which you view it, and take these measurements to the optometrist. You may need a special pair of glasses for computer work.
- Take hourly breaks.
According to M W, M.D., medical director of OccNet, some companies actually pay for ‘computer’ glasses. “This cuts down eyestrain, but especially helps with neck strain for bifocal or trifocal users,” she explains.
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