What Is Computer Vision Syndrome And How To Treat It?

When we are working in front of the computer many times we forget to blink and our eyes get dry. Try to blink several times a minute to avoid itching and irritation.

Do you know what computer visual syndrome (SVI) is? The term may sound strange to many people. However, it is a reality for those who are frequently exposed to the screen of electronic devices: computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.

The modern lifestyle has changed the way of working and doing many everyday tasks. So now computers and mobile phones are the primary tool for millions of people around the world.

What is it about?

Visual syndrome affects many people.

Until a while ago, the health problems associated with these devices were ignored, as the great technological revolution focused on making known how useful each of the tools was.

However, after a long investigation, several experts determine that long hours of use have health effects in the medium and long term .

The computer vision syndrome is one of those negative side effects that are exposed people who spend extended time in front of screens of their devices.

According to the American Academy of Optometry, it is a set of ocular and visual signs and symptoms. These, in the long term, can reduce the quality of life of those who suffer from it. According to his research, 70% of workers who spend long hours in front of a computer have serious problems with eyestrain.

On the other hand, institutions and organizations such as the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety in the United States  warn that 90% of people who spend three or more hours in a row in front of these screens are at high risk of developing this syndrome.

What are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

When working, studying or spending long hours of leisure in front of an electronic device, the eyes  strain. This, in the long run, causes refractive or alignment alterations in the eyes, becoming a big problem due to the visual demand it demands.

When computer vision syndrome has already developed, the person may experience:

  • Rigidity.
  • Tearing
  • Eye fatigue.
  • Headaches and migraine.
  • Dry eyes
  • Itching and facial swelling.
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Intense light sensitivity.
  • Nausea, dizziness and vertigo.
  • Redness in the eyes.
  • Muscle and joint pain

The distance between the eyes and the screen is minimal, and this in turn influences visual work overload. Added to that, the artificial light that all modern devices emit is very strong for the eyes. This, in the long term, can cause irreparable damage to the cells of the retina.

At present, this disorder worries health experts, as it seems impossible that the use of electronic devices will be reduced. Therefore, it is estimated that this fact will lead, in the future, SVI to become one of the most common diseases in the entire world population.

How can the risk of computer vision syndrome be reduced?

It may not be possible to prevent the development of computer vision syndrome because of the lifestyle that the evolution of technology has created. Despite this, there are measures that can help reduce its impact on visual health so that it does not become something more chronic.

Use the right lighting

On the one hand, the screens allow to reduce their brightness to have matt and soft colors, that is, less aggressive from a visual point of view. It’s also a good idea to use an antiglare to avoid reflections from overhead lights or windows.

It is not recommended to view screens in a dark environment, as  their impact is more aggressive and can cause fatigue and eye discomfort.

Adopt a correct posture

On the other hand, it is important to adopt a suitable posture to achieve good visual performance. To do this, the ideal is that the feet are flat on the floor and the back is upright to adequately support the rest of the body.

The screen of the computer or device should be a few centimeters below sight, at a safe distance (a little more than we can perceive by extending our arm in a straight line forward). Never close to the face.

Also, it will be essential to take breaks from time to time – every 15 minutes, if possible – to look into the distance through the window. This will remind your eyes that they don’t have to keep staring.

Blink more

Visual syndrome is complicated.

When we spend too much time looking at a screen, we blink less and this prevents the eye from lubricating itself naturally, which in turn leads to visual fatigue.

Therefore, it is essential to take breaks to look into the distance, to blink consciously several times and thus help the eyes to lubricate. 

If your ophthalmologist authorizes it, you can also use some eye drops to relieve yourself when you have to spend many hours working on the computer.

Clean your computer regularly

The screen of electronic devices collects dust and other environmental agents that can cause eye irritation. Therefore, it is very important to clean them regularly to prevent it from becoming a problem.

For this, there are wipes, sprays and other products specially designed to take care of the material and, at the same time, prevent allergies.

Wear reading or rest glasses or glasses

Finally, glasses, spectacles or lenses are good support for the eyes when using these devices. Thus, it is recommended to make an appointment with the oculist (or ophthalmologist) for a complete vision checkup and receive a proper diagnosis to choose the correct support lenses.

A common condition, but with a solution

In short, if you spend too many hours in front of an electronic device, do not forget to take these aspects into account. Likewise, it will be advisable that you go to a specialist to treat it in the best possible way.

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