How to Prevent Eye Strain in Computer & Mobile Users

Monday, September 27, 2010

As the time is passing by, we are becoming more & more dependent on computers & mobiles, both for work and entertainment. Although, they have made the tasks a whole lot easier for us but spending extensive hours in front of them, puts a lot of strain on our bodies. The organs, which succumb first to this strain, are our eyes. So,

What is Eye Strain / Computer Vision Syndrome?

Eye strain is eye discomfort which occurs after one is performing a particular task for prolonged periods of time such as using computer for long durations.

Recently a new term has been conceived – Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) which is defined as 'Eye and vision problems linked to extended computer use that can affect adults and children'.

The good news is Eye strain doesn't have any long term consequences & does not cause permanent damage to the eye but it's definitely uncomfortable.

What are the Symptoms?

- Redness, watering & itching of eyes.
- Pain in or around the eyes.
- Blurred or double vision.
- Aching or heaviness of eyelids.
- Twitching of eyelids.
- Headache.
- Neck aches or Back aches.

How to Prevent it?

- Give your eyes frequent breaks. After every 50-60 mins, close your eyes for 2-3mins and relax.
- Changing focus also relieves the eye muscles. Take your eyes off the screen after every 15-20 mins & look across the room or out of the window at a distant object for 5 seconds.
- Blink frequently to prevent dryness of eyes & symptoms.
- Alternating your computer work with other tasks also relaxes the eyes.
- If you use contact lenses, remove them & use your glasses.
- A good sitting position with proper support for the back is also very necessary.
- The computer screen should be at a distance though which the text is easily readable & its height should be such that the center of the screen should be 2-3 cm lower than the level of eyes. As a result, more of the eyeball will remain covered by the eyelids, leading to less dryness & symptoms.
- Increase the font size, so the text is easily readable. In most computer programs, Ctrl+ increases the text size & Ctrl- decreases the text size.
- Always try to use Full screen. A common shortcut to it is F11.
- A good lighting is also very necessary. The room should not be too much illuminated & not too much dark. There should not be any reflections from the computer display.
- Get a flat screen monitor, which has got a nice contrast & does not have any reflections from its surface.
- Try Ubuntu, which is an alternate operating system like Windows & has got a whole lot smoother fonts. (They are so tasty to read.)
- Having plenty of sleep & balanced diet also play their part in preventing eye strain.

When to Contact a Doctor?

If the above tips don't help you or you have really trouble focusing, then you should contact an eye doctor & go through a complete examination.