Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome is defined by the American Optometric Association as the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work that are experienced during or related to computer use.
The most prevalent symptoms of prolonged computer use are often overlooked. These symptoms include:
- Eye Strain
- Blurred Vision
- Dry Eye
Sitting at a computer generally causes a person to look straight ahead for long stretches, work in a dry office or home environment, and to blink less often. These factors can lead to vision problems. Additionally, computer use requires specific vision skills, which add further demands to the visual system and contribute to eye and vision discomfort. These skills include:
- Ocular Motility: The ability of the eyes to move in various positions
- Accommodation: The ability of the eyes to focus clearly at various distances
- Vergence: The ability to move the eyes in or out.
How to set up your workstation for comfortable computer use:
- Feet should be flat on the floor (or on a slightly angled foot rest) with knees bent close to or greater than 90 degrees.
- Chair seat should support the legs without excessive pressure on the back of the thighs
- Wrists and hands should extend nearly straight from the elbow to the home row of the keyboard
- A commonly preferred work surface height for keyboard use is about 26" as opposed to the conventional 29" of most tables or desks.
- Place monitor 20" - 26" from your eyes, depending on the size of the monitor and individual vision conditions
- The monitor and keyboard should be straight ahead.
- The top of the monitor should be slightly below horizontal eye level. Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10 degree to 20 degree angle. The center of the monitor should be 10 degrees to 20 degrees below your eyes.
- Keep the monitor free of fingerprints and dust. Both can reduce clarity.
- Place document holders close to the screen within the same viewing distance. Keep the keyboard and monitor in line.
- Adjust the keyboard tilt angle so that wrists are straight.