Computer Vision Syndrome

The world around us has changed rapidly over the last decade, bringing some challenges along. The most significant change that has impacted life is the use of computers and mobile phones. From office work to entertainment, from information surfing to messaging, from banking to online buying, every aspect of life now needs a screen. The work-from-home and school-from-home situation has increased the time spent on these screens, even for children.
Almost 8-12 hours a day are spent on a screen now, causing immense strain to the eyes! Such digital strain on eyes over many months and years begin to cause symptoms such as:
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Dryness of eyes
  • Eyes feeling tired, sore or achy
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Headache
  • Twitching of eyes
This condition is being increasingly noticed among people working long hours on a computer and in school-age children who spend a significant time on devices, and is called the “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)or Digital Eye Strain (DES).”

How Common is Computer Vision Syndrome(CVS)/Digital Eye Strain (DES)?

If the eyes feel tired and strained by looking at any digital screen for a prolonged duration, one may be a victim of the digital onslaught. Globally, 60 million people are suffering from CVS and approximately one million new cases are added each year.[S. Wimalasundera, “Computer vision syndrome,” Galle Medical Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 25–29, 2006.]A survey conducted by The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported that as many as 75-90% of the population that works regularly on any digital screen device are suffering from eye-related symptoms. It is estimated that 80% of the computer-using population suffers from ‘Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)’,[ Raja AM, Janti SS, Chendilnathan C, Adnan M. Ocular problems of computer vision syndrome: Review. J Mahatma Gandhi Inst Med Sci 2015;20:134-6] and some other studies have shown that there can be a 30% loss of productivity due to CVS. Such digital eye strain is very common in both children and adults.

Why does Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)/Digital eye strain (DES) occur?

There many are reasons why reading on a computer screen or digital device is difficult for the eyes than reading printed matter
  • The text and images on a computer screen are made up of pixels with blurry edges. The eyes have to work harder to focus on them compared to text and images on a printed page. This causes the eye muscles to work harder, causing eye strain.
  • One tends to blink less frequently than usual when working on a computer. (Normally, we blink about 17 times a minute, but this often drops significantly during computer use). Less blinking can lead to dryness.
  • Our eyes were genetically designed for distant vision. Through the ages, the eyes have adapted to sharpen their near vision too. But the switch in working routines from print materials to digital has been so rapid that eyes have not had a chance to adapt to the newer digital onslaught.
Of the various symptoms of CVS or DES described above,
  • Burning and irritation are linked to dryness of the eyes
  • Headache, eyestrain, blurring of vision and loss of focus are linked to fatigue of the focussing muscles of the eyes

Why does one get a headache and eye pain in Computer Vision Syndrome/Digital Eye strain?

It’s about the eye muscles.

The eye has muscles to control the movement of the eyeball. These muscles can move the eyeball from side to side as well as up and down. There are also other muscles inside that control the amount of light entering, as well as muscles that alter the shape of the lens. Just as the lens of an autofocus camera has the ability to focus on near as well as far objects, the eye muscles help the eye to focus on the nearer and far-away objects.

When one looks at a screen at a close distance, the muscles in and around the eyes need to work harder to focus. Over a period of time, these muscles get tired, just like any other muscle in the body when overworked.
Self-Check For Computer Vision Syndrome

After a prolonged screen time. do you suffer from:

  • Itchy Eyes
  • Burning Sensation in Eyes
  • Watery Eyes
  • Dry Eyes
  • Twitching eyes
  • Eye Redness
  • Double Vision
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and Neck Stiffness

If you ticked most of the boxes, it’s time for a visit to your eye doctor.

What should be done to overcome Computer Vision Syndrome/Digital Eye Strain?

First and foremost, one must consult an eye-practitioner who will carry out a complete eye check-up.

If any vision correction is required, appropriate eye-glasses are recommended.

Strengthening of eye-muscles is the most important step that will be recommended too. This is done with the latest and sophisticated computerised technique (Bynocs), which can be done at the doctor’s clinic or at home under the guidance of a qualified eye-practitioner.

Eye exercises on Bynocs software to de-strain

One of the latest and most effective treatments for digital eye strain is eye exercises that can strengthen the eye muscles and help the eyes to focus better. The eye specialist will recommend such exercises using the new advanced Bynocs software. Here the patient is made to perform gaming activities on a laptop/ desktop by wearing red/blue glasses or with a flipper. Depending on the extent of the problem, an individual may require 7-10 sessions, each of 20 to 30 minutes duration.
A new-age, revolutionary eye treatment, developed to improve ocular health and overcome troublesome eye and vision disturbances arising from Computer Vision Syndrome.

How Does Bynocs Work?

  • A detailed history is taken using questionnaires, and the optometrist performs a thorough eye examination.
  • The eye condition is evaluated using a computerised diagnostic test on the patented Bynocs software.
  • Individual treatment plans are formulated after consultation with the ophthalmologist.
  • The Bynocs technology helps exercise the eye muscles using a gaming interface and specialised eyewear. These exercises are targeted to strengthen the eye muscles and help relieve eye strain arising from muscle fatigue.
  • Depending on the evaluation, one may need to attend multiple sessions, each of 20 to 30 -minute duration.

With Bynocs, patients have experienced 80-90% improvement in their visual symptoms and digital eye strain.

Advanced yet Easy

Undergoing treatment using Bynocs, requires consultation at a Bynocs eye clinic. Once a person is prescribed Bynocs, the necessary sessions may be undertaken in the eye-specialty clinic or at home.
One needs an internet connection with a computer and special Anaglyph glasses given by Bynocs. To perform the technique correctly, optometrist guidance is available through a video call.
Eye practitioners have seen good results with patients as young as five years old up to adults into their sixties and seventies with Bynocs.

Advanced yet Easy

Other self-help techniques that can help improve the eye troubles arising from a digital overdose

Limit Screen Time

If the work demands 6 hours on the computer screen, ensure that one does not add to this screen time by continuing to use other devices during leisure time.

The 20-20-20 Technique

Every 20 minutes, try to look at an object that is 20 feet away and maintain the gaze for 20 seconds. This activity reduces eye stress and discomfort as the focussing muscles of the eyes get some rest.

Good Workstation Ergonomics

  • The American Optometric Association recommends that the screen should be at a distance of 20-28 inches away and 15-20 degrees below the eye level.
  • Use a good ergonomic chair that offers support to the spine.

Blink Often

When our eyes are focused on the screens, we do not blink as often as necessary. Blinking often keeps the eyes moist and protects them from dryness and associated symptoms.

Routine Eye Check-ups

It is a good idea to routinely visit an eye doctor and monitor the eye health so that appropriate and early treatments for visual problems can be started if essential.

Lubricating Eye Drops

If suffering from dry eyes, the instillation of lubricating eye drops at frequent intervals will help maintain the moisture levels and protect the eyes from dryness and related troubles.

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