Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain

The symptoms associated with excess or inappropriate screen use are referred to as  Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain. Most common symptoms observed are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain. 

These symptoms may be further aggravated by poor lighting, glare, improper viewing distance, poor seating posture.

In addition to these, other sleep disorders like Difficulty in sleep initiation, talking in sleep, bruxism (teeth grinding) are also associated with excess screen use or screen use close to sleeping time.

Parents and al adolescents should be educated on the following preventive measures –

  • Location of computer screen –  Optimally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the centre of the screen and  20 to 28 inches far from the eyes.
  • Lighting – Position the computer screen to avoid glare, particularly from overhead lighting or windows. 
  • Use Anti-glare screen
  • Seating position – Chair height should be adjusted so that feet rest flat on the floor. If the chair has arm-rests, they should be adjusted to provide support to arms while typing. Wrists should not rest on the keyboard while typing.
  • Rest breaks – Eyes should be rested for 15 minutes after every two hours of continuous computer use. Also, after every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow eyes to refocus.
  • Blinking – To minimize chances of developing dry eye when using a computer, make an effort to blink frequently. Blinking keeps the cornea moist.
  • Screen Time: Daily screen limits should be set. Parents should also follow same, as they are the role models whom children follow.

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