Computer Vision Syndrome

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Can working with computers make my eyesight worse?

There is no evidence that working with computer screens can damage your eyes or eyesight. As with any prolonged task, however, looking at a computer screen for a long time without a break may make your eyes feel uncomfortable, and make you aware of underlying eye problems that weren’t causing any symptoms previously.

 

An eye examination will ensure that your vision is as clear and comfortable and that problems are spotted early on. An eye exam can also help you alleviate:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Blurriness
  • Lack of concentration or focus

What steps can I take to improve my vision at work?

  • Have regular eye examinations
  • Take frequent breaks. Change your posture and give your eyes a rest every 20 minutes or so. You should have sufficient space behind your computer screen to be able to look beyond it and relax your eyes.
  • Check that the screen is at a comfortable distance from your eyes, usually 60cm (approximately an arm’s length away).
  • Check the height of the screen, the top of the monitor should be roughly level with your eyes.
  • Try and avoid glare or bright reflections on the screen. Try and avoid directly facing windows or bright sunlight, adjust any blinds to prevent unwanted light and glare. Keep your screen free from dust and mairks.

Use an anti-glare coating on your spectacle lenses:

b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_eye1.jpg

Spectacle lenses without an anti-glare coating:

b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_eye2.jpg

References:

College of Optometrists, July 2011.

Visuals courtesy of HOYA Optical.

 

By Nikky Häberle

MCOptom(UK), ODC(AEI), Cert.Optom (SA), M.Tech:PSE,ND: Disp.Opt

Independent Practitioner, owner of NH Optometrist

www.nhoptometrist.co.za

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