Imagine this. You are sitting at your computer desk at work. It’s just after lunch. Your eyes are beginning to water and burn. Your vision seems to go in and out of focus. Your neck hurts. Your back aches. Just when you think you’ve suffered enough, you develop a nasty headache.
What is going on? Maybe you don’t have to imagine this scenario. If you have experienced these symptoms you are one of over 60 million Americans with Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS.
Two thirds of CVS symptoms are due to eyestrain from blurred vision, dry eyes, and muscle spasms. One-third of symptoms are due to your workstation environment, or ergonomics. Poor monitor location, posture and lighting all contribute to CVS.
What can you do about CVS? Since most of us cannot reduce our time on the computer, it is best to get an eye exam to find the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor will check how well your eyes work together and focus. Additionally, a dry eye analysis may be done since our blink rate drops by 66% while we stare at our computer screen. If it is determined that you need glasses to improve your symptoms, non-glare lenses should be used to reduce glare from your computer screen, room lights, windows, and your eyeglasses themselves.
To improve ergonomics, your doctor will also discuss your work station set up. You should maximize the size of the print, contrast, brightness, and resolution on your monitor. It is also best to set your screen about 20-26 inches away from you and low enough so that the top of the screen is just below your line of sight. To reduce glare, align your monitor so that no window sits behind your or in front of you. If possible use a flat screen or glare screen and dim overhead lights.
Your posture can make or break a long day at your desk. Your desk surface should be ay belly button level with flat wrists at the keyboard and flat feet on the floor. Invest in a quality desk chair with an adjustable back rest to relive strain on your lower back.
Work productivity and accuracy are both affected by those suffering from CVS. At the very least you should be sure to give your eyes a break. Always remember the 20/20/20 Rule: Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Hopefully, with these tips in mind you won’t dread your next trip to work.