The American Optometric Association has given this collection of symptoms a name: Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. And it is becoming increasingly common among office workers across the country. But there are ways you can protect yourself and your eyes from CVS. A news release from the AOA outlines five easy preventive measures:
- Keep the computer screen four to nine inches below eye level.
- Place the computer directly in front of you if you're looking at it most of the time.
- Use drapes, shades or blinds to control the glare from your window. Vertical or horizontal blinds can be used to direct light away from the computer user and the screen.
- Create an adjustable workstation. That means using an adjustable table and chair, a detachable keyboard and an adjustable copy holder that fastens either to the desk or the computer. Make sure your computer screen can be turned or tilted and that the brightness and contrast can be adjusted. Generally speaking, the brightness of your screen should be equivalent to the brightness of other objects in the room. As for the color of the screen, black characters on a white background are easiest on the eyes.
- Use a glare reduction filter -- it will enhance screen contrast and increase character legibility. Filters bearing the AOA Seal of Acceptance are available at office supply stores.
Another simple way to combat CVS is to rest your eyes by taking short breaks throughout the day. The pressure to meet tight deadlines or the desire to get a lot done during a creative spurt can produce marathon sessions in front of the computer screen. As you work, make it a point to look away from the computer screen every now and then and focus your eyes on faraway objects.