Suggestions for Computer Vision Syndrome Sufferers
Below are some suggestions to help alleviate some of the symptoms of CVS:
- Don't take a vision problem to work. Even if you don't need glasses for driving, reading or other things you do, you still may have a minor vision problem that can be aggravated by computer use. You may need a mild prescription to wear only on the job to reduce vision stress. A thorough eye exam every year for computer users is a good idea.
- Be sure your glasses meet the demands of your job. If you wear glasses for distance vision, reading, or both, they may not give you the most efficient vision for viewing your computer screen, which is about 20 to 30 inches from your eyes. Tell your optometrist about your job tasks and measure your on-the-job seeing distances. You may benefit from one of the new lens designs made specifically for computer work.
- Take alternative task breaks throughout the day. Make phone calls or photocopies. Consult with co-workers. Do anything that doesn't require your eyes to focus on something up close.
- Reduce room lighting to half normal office levels. An easy way to do this is to remove half the bulbs from ceiling fixtures. Use desk lamps for tasks that require more light.
- Minimize glare on your computer screen with a glare reduction filter (look for one with the American Optometric Association's Seal of Acceptance); by repositioning your screen; and by using drapes, shades or blinds. You can also ask your optometrist about eyeglass lens tints and coatings that can reduce glare.
- Use an adjustable copy holder to place reference material at the same distance from your eyes as your computer screen and as close to the screen as possible. Your eyes won't have to keep changing focus when looking from one to the other and you won't have to keep moving your head or eyes back and forth.
- Adjust your work area and your computer for your comfort. Most people prefer a work surface height of about 26 inches for computer use. Desks and tables are usually 29 inches high. Place your computer screen 16 to 30 inches from your eyes. The top of the screen should be slightly below horizontal eye level. Tilt the top of the screen away from you at a 10 to 20 degree angle.
- Clean your computer screen frequently. Dust and fingerprints can reduce clarity.
Additional information is available from the AOA Clinical Care Center at the St. Louis Office, telephone 800/365-2219 ext. 4244 or 4245.