IT workers and Eye Strain, Dry Eyes

With the growing number of people glued to their computers/ Laptops/ Mobile Phones 24X7 in India, Computer eye strain or computer vision syndrome is bound to affect majority of the population. This group of users are not only IT/ITES workers but also workers from other industries as Computer has become a mainstay in a number of industries.

Initially it was thought that eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS) occur in adults only but a recent study shows that many children who are exposed to computers either at home or in school suffer from similar issues. With even books being phased out by ebook readers the problem is bound to increase. Following are some of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome:

• Headache
• Loss of focus
• Burning eyes
• Tired eyes
• Double vision
• Blurred vision
• Neck and shoulder pain

What causes it ?

Computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome are caused by our eyes and brain reacting differently to characters on a computer screen than they do to printed characters. Our eyes have little problem focusing on printed material that has dense black characters with well-defined edges. But characters on a computer screen don’t have the same degree of contrast and definition.

Words on a computer screen are created by combination’s of tiny points of light (pixels), which are brightest at the center and diminish in intensity toward their edges. This makes it more difficult for our eyes to maintain focus on these images. Instead, our eyes want to drift to a reduced level of focusing called the “resting point of accommodation” or RPA. Our eyes involuntarily move to the RPA and then strain to regain focus on the screen. This continuous flexing of the eyes’ focusing muscles creates the fatigue and eye strain that commonly occur during and after computer use.

What can be done to reduce stress to eyes ?

1) Doctors recommend anti-glare glasses to reduce the strain on eyes
2) Eye-lubricants are advised for workers who work long durations in front of computers. These eye-lubricants are easily available as OTC drugs and don’t need prescription from the doctor.
3) Simple eye exercises should be done along with improvement in diet so as to get normal dose of vitamin A for healthy eyes
4) Doctors also recommend anti-glare filters.
5) Improvement of ergonomics while using computer can go a long way in helping reduce stress on eyes and other body parts. It should be ensures that computer screen is positioned at a proper height.
6) It is also advised that people shouldn’t continuously stare at computer monitors instead focus on other things which are far off thus giving frequent breaks to eyes.