Computer Related Eye Problems

With rapidly increasing computer usage, the screen related eye problems are also increasing at an equal pace.

Why Eye Problems Occur With Computer Usage?

Natural vision includes both- watching distant objects and the near ones. As we see a near object for sometime, our eye muscles get tightened and the eyes get strained. After a while, as we watch distant objects, the muscles of the eye relax back. However, during the last 50 years nearly all our work had shifted the focus of our vision to an arm’s length. This increased amount of near visual tasks often produces such changes as nearsightedness, suppressed vision in one eye, poor eye coordination.

Contributing Factors of Visual Stress

  • An increase in the number and complexity of necessary eye movements and focusing skills
  • Poor lighting conditions, glare (reflection from the screen)
  • Changing screen rate
  • Incorrect Posture
  • Improper distance between the computer screen and the user
  • Frequently moving eyes between copy and the screen

Common Computer Related Eye Symptoms

1) Eye strain- Long working hours on the computer require straining of eye muscles. This leads to pain in the eye.
2) Headaches- They often accompany eye pain.
3) Blurred vision and other visual symptoms : This occurs after sustained use of the computer for long hours. It usually gets alright with rest. But if we make such strains a practice, permanent deficit in vision may occur.
4) Heavy computer users are at risk even for glaucoma.
5) Difficulty seeing clearly at a distance after prolonged computer use. This happens because the eye muscles get fixed in a position for near vision. Their flexibility is lost.
6) Occasional doubling of vision
7) Changes in color perception- Rapidly changing screens on the computer expose our eyes to rapid changing colors and contrast/brightness scales, thus making them prone to such problems.
8) Changes in glasses prescription- Visual deficit may increase due to sustained near-vision work strain.

Other Computer Stress Symptoms

  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Back pain
  • Pain in arms, wrists, when working on the computer

 Simple Remedies

Many of these symptoms can be reduced through a combination of correcting techniques. These would include:

  • Improving workstation conditions
  • Posture- Sit with your back straight. Screen should be placed such that you don’t have to raise up you eyes to read.
  • Special anti-glare screens for monitors
  • Eye exercises- These eye exercises help in relaxing the tired eye muscles.
  • Proper nutrition

Importance of Repetitive Eye Examination

Computer users should have a comprehensive eye examination periodically. Examination should include:

  • A general eye and health history
  • Screening for glaucoma
  • A specific history relating to computer work with description of the number of hours on computer, the time of day you usually work on the computer, the size, and color of your screen and work distances in your workstation, the lighting in the room.
  • A measurement of your visual acuity at distance and near
  • Do an evaluation of your internal and external eye health
  • An assessment of eye focusing ability
  • An evaluation of eye coordination and eye movement skills

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