You Can Blink

A few tips on how to prevent eye strain from Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is excessive strain on eyes caused by working for long hours in front of a computer monitor or screen. While concentrating on a screen the eye tends to blink less. This is an involuntary action and results in drying up of the tears which are the natural lubricant lining the eyes surface.
The condition can get aggravated by anything that compromises tear production of the eyes such as minor allergies or infections. It can worsen during seasonal change or exposure to dust and pollution.

Look out for the following symptoms if you think you are suffering from CVS:

- Discharge and watery eyes
- Itchiness and pain in the eyes
- A feeling of tiredness and heaviness in the eyes
- Redness and irritation
- Blurring of vision
- Strain on the vision

    Thankfully, in most cases you can prevent CVS by paying attention to these simple yet effective tips:

    - Place the screen or laptop at a comfortable height so that it is approximately at eye level
    - After working for 20-30 minutes at a stretch, one should look away from the screen and consciously blink. This allows resurfacing of the tear film and lubricates the eye surface.
    - Read in good light and choose fonts and colours with good contrast and visibility to minimize strain
    - Avoid direct blasts from the AC/ fan
    - Those who use contact lenses should be careful not to over wear the lenses
    - Avoid exposure to dust

      Treatment of CVS
      Just in case you do get affected, here's what you should do:

      - Visit an ophthalmologist for an eye examination. There may be a refractive error that is a spectacle number, which could be adding to the eye strain. In such a case it is better to wear correction glasses, especially while working on the computer.

        - Use lubricating eye drops. It is better to use the preservative-free drops as they cause less irritation. The bottle can be placed at your workstation for use whenever needed.

          Dr. Anita Sethi is Sr. Consultant of Ophthalmology, Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon.

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