In today’s digital world, the opening lines to a 1967 hit single by Frankie Valli “You’re just too good to be true. Can’t take my eyes off of you.” aptly describes both the fascination and addiction we have with electronic devices. With an abundance of information available to us through the click of a mouse, touch of a screen, or tap of a token, our eyes become transfixed on a constant stream of text and images. This overload of visual stimuli can lead to a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) with symptoms including headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness, and even neck pain.
According to the American Optometric Association, persons spending two or more continuous hours staring at a computer monitor or using a digital screen device (tablet, e-reader, or cell phone) every day are at the greatest risk of developing symptoms of CVS or Digital Eye Strain. The contributing factors include screen glare, inadequate lighting, poor seated posture, viewing distance, and uncorrected vision problems. Along with correcting these conditions, the following can help to reduce the risk of eyestrain.
- Practice the 20/20/20 rule of looking at an object 20 feet away for the duration of 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of fixed gaze on the screen. This helps to relax the ciliary muscle that changes the shape of the lens within the eye for visual accommodation.
- While looking at a display screen, make a conscious effort to blink frequently to bath the eyes with tear fluid.
- Enlarge text size and other items by changing the display setting within the control panel of the computer. The default setting is 100% with the medium option at 125% and larger option at 150%.
- When creating an email stationary, choose a high contrast, dark-on-light combination with black text on a white background working best.
- For the aged eye or low vision person, consider using a LCD computer monitor screen magnifier & filter.
Check out the MEMIC Safety Director for more information on computer ergonomics and creating the right balance of light in the workplace. A review of these resources may have you saying “I can see clearly now…”