The Effects of Prolonged Daily Computer Exposure on your Vision

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by ikonicvision, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. ikonicvision


    Dec 11, 2012
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    Do you find that both work and leisure work entail spending most of your day using digital electronic devices to access email and internet? You are not alone; recent estimates indicate that there are 1 966 514 816 internet users worldwide, that's 28.7% of the world's population. The viewing of LCD screens was once restricted to desktop computers located in the workplace but now laptop and tablet computers, electronic book readers, smart phones and other portable electronic devices have ensured that computer screens of one kind are another are everywhere. Even Children's exposure is enormous: one recent investigation of over 2000 American children between 8 and 18 years of age reported that in an average day they spend approximately 7.5 h using entertainment media, 4.5 h watching TV, 1.5 h on a computer and over an hour playing video games. These screens have increased visual demands and given rise to a variety of symptoms that have been termed computer vision syndrome (CVS).

    CVS Symptoms:

    90% of computer users may experience one or more of the following visual symptoms: eyestrain; headaches; ocular discomfort; <i>dry-eye</i>; and blurred vision either at near or when looking into the distance after prolonged computer use.

    Effects of uncorrected refraction:

    Given the need to achieve and maintain clear and single vision of relatively small targets during computer work it is important that the retinal image be focused appropriately. While spherical <i>hyperopia</i> and high myopia should be corrected to reduce the ocular stimulus to accommodation and minimize blur there is documented evidence to suggest that uncorrected astigmatism produced a significant increase in symptoms. One test tested subjects with up to 1 D of residual astigmatism who were corrected with spherical soft contact lenses. This is a common clinical practice. The residual uncorrected astigmatism produced a significant increase in symptoms during computer work. The authors suggest that such symptoms could be reduced either by fitting these individuals with <i>toric</i> contact lenses, or alternatively by using a spectacle over correction to correct the residual astigmatism during computer operation.

    Digital electronic media present a variety of visual demands that are significantly different from those of traditional printed materials in terms of working distances, gaze angles and text sizes. Therefore opticians cannot anymore assume that a patient will read text at a viewing distance of approximately 40 cm with their eyes depressed. Accordingly, research in the area of <i>optometric</i> testing methods and the design of ophthalmic glasses lenses to suit these specific visual applications (particularly for the correction of <i>presbyopia</i>) will probably be required. As to the question of provider, any registered optician can perform the eye exam and provide you with suitable corrective spectacles. Alternatively the patient can use their prescription and buy online: simply type "where can I buy eyeglasses" into Google's search bar and let Google take you there.
    Given that the prevalence of symptoms (including ocular discomfort, <i>dry-eye</i> , eyestrain, headaches, <i>diplopia</i> and blurred vision) may be as high as 90%, it is likely that an increasing number of sufferers will present for <i>eye-examinations</i> with symptoms associated with CVS. In the light of these findings, practitioners shall need to consider appropriate examination procedures and treatment regimens. Near testing at a single distance and gaze angle such as is commonly employed when a near point card is positioned in the primary position at a viewing distance of 40 cm is not adequate. The assessment of <i>oculomotor</i> functions at multiple viewing distances and gaze angles may be required.
    Furthermore, prescribing routines may need to be reconsidered: ie. small refractive errors such as astigmatism between 0.50 and 1.00 D, that might have been left uncorrected in the past (particularly in contact lens wearers), should be corrected in a patient who is viewing an electronic screen for an extensive period of time. Cases of <i>dry-eye</i> and instances of low to moderate <i>oculomotor</i> anomalies or that might previously have been left uncorrected may be of sufficient magnitude to cause significant CVS symptoms when combined with prolonged hours of computer based tasks.
    It is worth noting that the symptoms of CVS associated with accommodation and <i>vergence</i> disorders do seem, in most cases, to be a result of viewing a visually demanding near target for an extended period of time and not specific to the electronic monitor. In contrast, symptoms of <i>dry-eye</i> do appear to be directly related to computer use due to the position of the monitor (producing increased corneal exposure), reduced blink rate, increased partial blinking and other environmental factors. Further research is required to determine the efficacy of dry eye treatments in reducing symptoms of CVS.
    Some useful tips to help prevent CVS include:

    1. Get a comprehensive eye exam.
    This is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems.
    It is recommended that people with significant exposure to digital electronic equipment present themselves for an eye exam once a year. During your exam, be sure to tell your practitioner how often you use a computer at work and at home.

    2. Use proper lighting.
    Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. So when you use your computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
    3. Minimize glare.
    This includes glare from any of the surfaces that surround you as well as reflections on your computer screen. If you wear eyeglasses make sure your lenses have an AR anti reflective coating.
    4. Upgrade your display.
    If your computer monitor is causing computer eye strain, replace it a screen with the highest resolution possible as this will be easier on the eyes and choose a relatively large display: For a desktop computer, select a display that has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.
    5. Adjust your computer display settings.
    Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:
    &bull; Brightness. Adjust the brightness of the display so it's approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it's too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
    &bull; Text size and contrast. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort.
    &bull; Color temperature. Reducing the color temperature of your display to lower the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort. (The author has tried this and has never looked back!)

    6. Blink more often.
    Often overlooked, blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. Try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes very slowly as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help moisten your eyes.
    7. Exercise your eyes.
    Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.
    8. Take frequent breaks.
    During your computer breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue. Have a chat with colleague or perhaps take a tea break for a few minutes.
    9. Modify your workstation.
    If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Place written pages on a copy stand adjacent to the monitor.
    Light the copy stand properly. You may want to use a desk lamp, but make sure it doesn't shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.
    Improper posture during computer work also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height.
    Purchase ergonomic furniture to enable you to position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.
    10. Consider computer eyewear.
    For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your glasses prescription to create customized computer eyeglasses This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses as mentioned earlier Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.
    ikonicvision, Dec 11, 2012
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  2. ikonicvision


    Jan 12, 2013
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    Above 90% of people who are using the computer on daily basis are having huge effects on their vision. They suffer from some of the problems like headaches, eyestrain, dry dye, ocular discomfort and also blurred vision.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
    JamieGouch, Jan 12, 2013
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