Computer eye strain has become a major job-related complain. The problems range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and more work errors. University of Iowa Health Care says computer vision syndrome affects 75% of people who work on computers.
“From dry eyes, redness, eye fatigue to headaches there’s a catch – all terms for any screen induced- discomfort: ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’ (CVS) says Dr. M. Wijayatunga, a retired Consultant Eye Surgeon who was attached to the Ragama Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Wijayatunga says that despite the causes for CVS being many, the most prominent symptoms are dryness and fatigue in the eye. It is also referred to as Digital Eye Strain.
“The longer someone stares at digital screens, the chances are high to develop CVS. And those who are already having dry eyes for other reasons, might find it really difficult to stare at the digital devices for long,” adds Dr. Wijayatunga.
“The wetness of eyes depends on the tears. Blinking brings a thin layer of tears, which are produced by the lacrimal glands situated above each eyeball. The glands are secreting a small amount of tears. A film of tear fluid is spread across the eye surface by the eyelids. This thin film of tears include three layers - oil, water and mucus. Oil layer stops evaporation of water layer by covering it. Tears prevent dryness by coating in the eye as well as saving it from outside irritants. The sole oxygen and nutrients provider lubricates the eyes smoothing the surface of our eyes, so that light is refracted correctly enabling us to see clearly.” explains Dr. Wijayatunga.
The science of blinking
“We forget to blink while staring at a digital screen (mobile phones, laptop, or the monitor) and continue looking, which causes dry eyes in return. The average person blinks some 15 - 20 times per minute and while staring at a digital screen they don’t blink once per minute. As a result, the eye becomes dry, causing grittiness and irritation.” Dr. Wijayatunga says.
The official scientific journal of the National Academy of Sciences in United States, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” published the results of a scientific research of ‘blinking’, conducted by a group of Japanese scientists. They guessed the blink might be a subconscious activity, a mental resting point, to briefly shut off visual stimuli and allow us to focus our attention better.
Symptoms of CVS
The WebMed says; research reveals that between 50% -90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some of the following symptoms.
Rule of 20
Every 20 minutes, look away from digital screens at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eye muscles a rest and helps ward off fatigue and strain.
Follow these tips for relief