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Computer Vision Syndrome

Is There a Way to Relieve Computer Vision Syndrome?

Making a few simple changes in your work environment can help prevent and improve computer vision symptoms:

  • Cut the glare. Change the lighting around you to reduce glare on the computer screen. If a nearby window is casting glare on your screen, move the monitor and close the shades until the glare disappears. Ask your employer to install a dimmer switch for the overhead lights if they're too bright, or buy a desk lamp with a moveable shade that distributes light evenly over your desk. Putting a glare filter over the screen monitor also can help protect your eyes.
  • Rearrange your desk. Researchers find that the optimal position for your computer monitor is slightly below eye level, about 20 to 28 inches away from the face. At that position, you shouldn't have to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to see what's on the screen. Put a stand next to your computer monitor and place any printed materials you're working from on it. Then, you won't have to look up at the screen and back down at the desk while you type.
  • Give your eyes a break. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes or so and either gaze out the window or scan the room for about 20 seconds to rest your eyes. Blink often to keep the eyes moist. If eyes are getting overly dry, try using lubricating eyedrops.
  • Tweak your computer settings. You don't have to live with the factory-installed settings on your computer if you're uncomfortable. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size until you find the best settings for your vision.

Visit your eye doctor regularly for an exam to ensure your prescriptions are adequate. Let the doctor know about any eyestrain or other problems you're experiencing at work. You may need glasses or contact lenses to correct your computer eye problems. The eye doctor will help determine whether you can just wear your regular glasses or if you need special computer glasses. These may contain a single or bifocal lens, or tinted lens material, which may help increase contrast perception and filter out glare and reflective light to reduce symptoms of eye strain.

Also have children's eyes checked often. Make sure any computers they use are set up at the right height and with optimal lighting to minimize glare.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on July 30, 2012

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