Blurred vision. Headaches. Red, scratchy and dry eyes. You’ve probably got DES
Got what? DES. Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS). And it’s becoming more and more frequent because of the extraordinary visual demands of computer work. In fact, it’s estimated that at least half of computer users experience it. And although it’s not comfortable, it’s all not usually serious. You may not be able to change the amount of time you’re in front of a computer, but you can take steps to reduce eye strain. The experts at Spec-Savers shared these tips with us.
Have a ‘just in case’ test
A good place to start is to have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out vision problems – and update your specs prescription. Even small inaccuracies in your prescription lenses can contribute to computer vision problems. And when you have your test, tell your optometrist that you use computers regularly, as well as how many screens and how long you use them for.
Adjust your monitor’s display settings
Ensure the brightness is the same as the surroundings and adjust the text size and contrast so it’s comfy to read. Simple black print on a white background is the best combo. Adjust the monitor’s colour temperature to reduce the blue colours on your screen. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light, which may be associated with certain eye conditions
Wear blue-light blocking computer glasses
These special-purpose glasses are prescribed specifically to reduce blue light exposure and differ from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses in various ways. If you have any astigmatism, you should have computer glasses made up by your optometrist. However, even if you have 20 / 20 vision, you should wear blue-light blocking readers. Details: specsavers.co.za
Follow the 20•20•20 rule
Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet (about 6m) away for 20 seconds. Looking away from your computer screen regularly and focusing on distant objects, helps relax the focusing muscle inside the eye, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.
Use adequate lighting and reduce glare
If your office has glare reflected from light-coloured walls and shiny surfaces, it can cause eye strain, as can the reflections on your computer screen. Attach an anti-glare screen to your monitor, especially if there’s a window behind you; reduce the external light by covering windows with curtains or blinds – particularly if there’s a window in front of you, and avoid sitting under big overhead fluorescent lights. If you’re a specs wearer, use lenses with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.
Modify your workstation
The way you sit at your desk and arrange your equipment can affect your vision. Having to keep looking down at a piece of paper and then up at your monitor can contribute to eye strain, so place documents on a copy stand next to the screen. Your computer screen should be 50 to 60 cm from your eyes and the centre of the screen should be 10 to 15 degrees below your eye line.