How many hours do you stare at your computer screen? Are you suffering from blurred vision, aching eyes, headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, shoulder pain? You may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome. Computer Vision Syndrome is a result of prolonged computer use and is a group of eye and vision-related problems.
Richard A. Norden, MD, FACS of Norden Laser Eye Associates specializes in LASIK, corneal procedures, and offers eye treatments to enhance the appearance of eyes after LASIK surgery. I was able to interview him on the impact the work environment can have on your eyes and what you can do about it.
How important is lighting when it comes to using your computer? Should you ever work on your computer with no lights on in the room?
Lighting is very important when it comes to using your computer, both ambient light and the lighting of your computer. You should do whatever reduces the glare of the screen for you. For some, turning down the lights to make the environment dark works best; others favor the use of overhead fluorescents, and some still like to place a small desk lamp near the monitor. You can also adjust your monitor position – tilting up will make it a bit darker and tilting down will typically make it brighter. Adjust the monitor brightness and contrast to settings that are best for you and enlarge the font to a level of comfort.
What is the proper height of the monitor compared to the desk for less eye strain?
The monitor should be between twenty and thirty inches from your eyes and should be set at eye level or lower. You shouldn’t be looking up at the monitor as it will cause more dryness on the surface of your eyes. You may have to prop the monitor up with a stack of books.
Do people with LASIK procedures need to do anything special to retain their vision?
People who have had LASIK do not need to do anything special to retain their vision. On relatively few occasions, some patients may notice a 5-10% drop in their uncorrected vision, years down the line. This can be invariably tuned-up with a little additional LASIK.
Can people with LASIK procedures preserve their vision by reducing eye strain, etc?
Just as eyestrain will not permanently affect anyone’s vision, the same is true with eyestrain for patients that have had LASIK; it may be annoying, but it’s not permanent.
What is the easiest way to reduce eye strain while working at your desk?
There are many ways to reduce eyestrain while working at your desk. The first 2 tips listed above are helpful; the proper layout at your desk helps as well.
The monitor should be directly in front of you at a distance of 20”-30” with the keyboard in front of the monitor, not to the side. The mouse pad and mouse should be just to the right (if you’re right-handed). If this is observed, your eyes will have natural movement which will help prevent eyestrain.
Lastly, try to follow the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes on the computer, stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds to relieve the spasm of focusing (accommodative spasm).