COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME AND DRY EYES

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome or CVS is a general term used to describe a group of eye problems / symptoms that occur when one works for long uninterrupted hours (more than 3 hours) on digital devices / video display units (VDUs) like computer, tablet / i-pad / mobile phones, T.V. etc..

Common Symptoms

  • Eye Strain:- Tired Eyes, dryness, burning sensation.
  • Dry, Irritated and itchy Eye :- Blurred / Double Vision, Light Sensitivity.
  • Headache:- Neck ache and Backache.
  • Reactive, excessive watering of eyes.

Reasons of Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Excessive brightness / poor contrast on computer screen.
  • Dark / inappropriate background or room lighting
  • Glare and Reflections from monitor.
  • Incorrect placement of monitor & keyboard.
  • Decreased blink rate.
  • Poor seating posture.
  • Uncorrected Refractive errors.

Prevention and Management

Symptoms of computer vision symptoms can be resolved with proper management of environment and vision care.

  1. Correction of Refractive Error / Glasses
  2. Get Your Refractive Error Corrected and use correct Glasses with Anti-Reflective Coating as recommended by your doctor.
  3. Blinking:-
  4. Blink rate decreases to about 5 times a minute from the normal of about 15 times a minute while using computer / TV due to continuous staring at the screen. It is important to blink frequently and to keep eyes closed for short frequent breaks to maintain tear stability. BLINKING
  5. 20-20-20 Rule:-
  6. Take a short break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and look at an object that is more than 20 feet away to relax your eyes.
  7. Monitor :-
    • Monitor should be placed at a distance of about 18 to 30 inches from the eyes.
    • Centre of monitor should be 6-8 inches below eye level
    • Monitor should be straight ahead and tilted back 15 degrees .
    • Higher Contrast and lesser brightness is ideal.
    • Use large font with black or dark letters against light or white background
    BLINKING
  8. FONT
    • The font size on the computer screen should be big enough to read the text from a distance.
    • A dark font colour on a lighter background should be used.
    BLINKING
  9. DOCUMENT HOLDER
  10. A document if needed should be fixed in a document holder should be positioned at the same distance and height as of the monitor.

  11. Keyboard:-
  12. Keyboard and mouse should be low elbow level.
  13. Room Lighting & AC / Heating:-
    • Light shining directly into the monitor should be avoided.
    • Lighting should be adequate so that the monitor does not act as the only light source.
    • Use Anti-Glare Screens or anti reflective coating (ARC) on spectacle lenses.
    • Avoid direct AC or Heater air flow directly towards face. Avoid low humidity in room or car.
  14. EYE EXERCISE
  15. Closing the eyes and slowly rolling the eye balls in clockwise and anti clockwise direction.

    BLINKING
  16. Ergonomics , Follow good reading habits
    1. Sit on proper chair with right posture, let the light come over your Left shoulder and Fall directly on the page.
    2. Always place a table lamp which provides focused light on left corner of table.
    3. When you are reading, hold your book at least 40 cm away. Don’t bend your back and neck when reading. Hold the book at a slight angle to get a better view.

WHAT IS DRY EYE?

Dry Eye is a collection of symptoms that make up an eye condition that stems from an imbalance in the quantity or quality of tears bathing the eye. These symptoms include dry, red, gritty, and even watery eyes. Often, Dry Eye sufferers report the feeling of something foreign within the eye or eyestrain. Some people do not produce enough tears to keep the eye comfortable

The balance of tear production and tear loss [through drainage and evaporation] maintains the moisture level in the eyes. When this balance is not sustained, dry spots appear on the surface of the eye and cause irritation.

A healthy eye constantly produces tears that lubricate. Excessive tears occur when a foreign body irritates the eye or when a person cries.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYE?

Early symptoms of dry eye are:

  1. An occasional burning sensation in the eyes when in areas of low humidity or high pollution.
  2. A gritty sensation in the eyes, which is persistent and painful.
  3. Decreased tolerance of contact lenses.
  4. In extreme cases of dry eye, patients may become unusually sensitive to light, experience severe eye pain, or notice diminished vision.
  5. Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  6. Eye irritation from smoke or wind
  7. Excess tearing

WHAT CAUSES DRY EYE SYNDROME?

Many different things cause dry eye syndrome. The normal aging of tear glands, as well as specific diseases and disorders, may cause changes in the amount and condition of tears produced.

Decreased sensitivity of the cornea can also lead to insufficient production of tears. Some types of contact lens wear can bring on this lack of sensitivity.

Excessive evaporation of tears can also cause dry eye syndrome. Such evaporation may be caused by meibomitis, which results from infection and inflammation of the meibomian glands in the eyelids.

People with unusually large eyes, as well as those who suffer from thyroid disease, may also experience dry eye syndrome caused by excessive evaporation. Dry eye can also result from unusual facial anatomy or irregularities in the cornea, resulting in uneven or inadequate tear coverage of the eye.

WHAT IS THE TEAR FILM?

Tears bathe and lubricate the eyes. Each time you blink, a new tear layer forms over the front surface of your eye.

HOW IS DRY EYE DIAGNOSED?

We are able to diagnose dry eye by examining the eyes. Sometimes tests that measure tear production may be necessary. One test, called the Schirmer tear test, involves placing filter-paper strips under the lower eyelids to measure the rate of tear production under various conditions. Another uses a diagnostic dye (fluorescein or Rose Bengal) to look for certain staining patterns.

HOW ARE DRY EYES TREATED?

Depending on the causes, Dry Eye Syndrome can be treated as a temporary problem or a lifelong disease requiring long-term treatment. Either way, tears must be conserved or replaced in order to provide relief.

1) Adding Artificial Tears ( Lubricant Drops )

Artificial tears are probably the most common forms of treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome. These Eye drops are similar to your own tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. Preservative-free eye drops are available if you are sensitive to the preservatives in artificial tears.

2) Conserving the tears with Punctal Occlusion

Conserving the tears with Punctal Occlusion In cases of persistent Dry Eye symptoms, permanent, reversible closure of the tear duct or punctal occlusion may be the best solution. Punctal occlusion allows you to retain your own, natural tears without the bother or expense of constantly replacing the tear film with artificial tears.

Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose. We may close these channels either temporarily or permanently. The closure conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.

3) A person with dry eye should avoid anything that may cause dryness, such as an overly warm room, hair dryers, wind or a direct fan / air conditioner draft. Smoking and kitchen fumes are especially bothersome.

4)Some people with dry eye complain of "scratchy eyes" when they wake up. Using an artificial tear ointment at bedtime can treat this symptom.

General Precautions for COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME & DRY EYE

Strain / Irritation / Watering Eyes is caused by Dry Eye & Allergy problem is increased by following :

  1. By Wind, Dust, Smoke, Plant Pollen exposure which is to be avoided.
  2. More Evaporation of tears or less tear secretion.
  3. Dry Air Exposure : (Heater / A.C. –both can affect). Use glases / Photochromic Goggles full-time.
  4. Infrequent Blinking of Eyes. Reduce TV / Mobile / Computer Use.
  5. Regular use of goggles / sun-glasses / glasses helps to avoid exposure. Helmet Visor if Driving / riding scooter / two wheeler. Avoid Car A/C or heater air at face. Keep car windows closed. Keep eyes closed Whenever possible.
  6. Avoid medicines for High B.P. like Atenolol (AT), Clonidine, Metoprolol, Propranolol, Tenolol, Betaloc (Beta Blockers) – Consult physician for change.
  7. Avoid Pain / Joint Pain medicines like: Ibuprofen/ Ketoprofen / Combiflam / Brufen / Indomethacin / Diclofenac / Voveran etc.
  8. Anti-Depression medication, Rheumatoid, Arthritis, Thyroid disorders and some Acne medicines also increase dryness of eyes.
  9. In ladies after hormone changes of menopause dry eyes often occur.
  10. Avoid Eye drops with strong preservatives.
  11. Do not wash too frequently. Do cold compresses instead.

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