VISION SYNDROME - ?· COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME ... vision-related problems related to near work which…

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    Copyright 2008 National Institute for Fitness and Sport. Unauthorized copying and reproduction of this handout is prohibited by law.Not for sale by anyone other than the National Institute for Fitness and Sport, Indianapolis, Indiana, 317-274-3432.

    For more information on computer vision syndrome, contact the National Institute for Fitnessand Sport at (317) 274-3432 or visit our website at www.nifs.org.

    Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is defined by the American Optometric Association as, eye andvision-related problems related to near work which are experienced during or related to computeruse. As computer use has become a normal part of daily life for over 50% of workers in the UnitedStates, symptoms of eyestrain, discomfort and fatigue are experienced by many computer users.

    So, what causes our eyes to burn and fatigue after long hours at the computer? The human brainand eye react differently to characters on a computer screen than they do for printed characters.Printed material has dense, black characters and defined edges, whereas, the computer screen hasa brighter background at its center which diminishes in intensity at th edges. Therefore, the eyescan maintain focus on a printed page, but have to constantly work to remain focused on the imageson a computer screen. The stress of the eye muscles to focus causes the burning, tired feeling.

    SYMPTOMS Eyestrain Dry or irritated eyes Tired & achy eyes Double vision Headache Neck, shoulder or back pain Blurred vision Trouble focusing after long periods of

    computer use

    SUGGESTIONS TO DECREASE COMPUTER VISION SYNDROMEIf you tend to have some of the symptoms listed above, they can be corrected with good eye careand a few changes in the work environment.

    Position your monitor about 16 - 30 inches from your eyes, depending on what is comfortable The computer monitor should be 4 - 8 inches lower than eye level, so you feel like you are

    looking down at the screen. Tilt the computer screen up as if it were a book or magazine.

    Place sources of light at perpendicular angles to the computer so they do not shine in your eyes or reflect on the screen.

    Use a large typeface. Experiment with different fonts and backgrounds as one may be easier to read.

    Blink frequently. Normally people blink 16 - 20 times per minute. During computer use, blink rates drop 5 - 7 times per minute. The eyes can become dry, red and irritated.

    Take short breaks to look away from the screen, or close your eyes periodically for a few seconds or minutes

    Individuals above the age of 40 who use bifocals may need special glasses when working with computers.

    If you use a computer on a consistent basis and experience the symptoms of CVS, have a completeeye exam performed annually. Your doctor may talk to you about computer glasses that can helpwith magnification of the computer screen.