NEW DELHI: Laptops, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers - these digital devices have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Most of our jobs also demand long hours of work on the computer. Additionally, with the advent of social networking sites, the need to stay connected has become imperative.
As per a recent study conducted by the Bank of America, a troubling trend has been witnessed worldwide, where people turn on their cell phones from the moment they are up in the morning and continue their tryst with digital screens till the time they are off to bed.
However, the increased interaction with digital screens has resulted in Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a condition that damages the eyesight and leads to vision-related problems. Some of the symptoms of this disorder are blurred vision, tired eyes, headaches, neck pain and dry eyes.
Here are 10 ways to combat the disorder and embrace technology safely:
1. Be cautious of your screen time: Reduce digital eye strain by making use of your screen time wisely. Keep away your smartphones and tablets before bedtime rather than staring at them in the dark. Try and make use of digital screens mostly for work-related purposes. Cut down on the usage of these gadgets to overcome boredom.
2. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Your office job or study-related projects may demand you to stay glued to the computer screen for over 10 hours. While it may seem impossible for you to cut down on the screen time, you can pursue the 20-20-20 rule. As per this rule, in every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. This will not only reduce the eye strain but will also keep you active.
3. Exercise your eyes frequently: Do you find yourself rubbing your eyes in irritation quite often? Owing to an increased exposure to computer screens and mobile phones, it is quite likely that a lot of people experience irritation or blurred vision, on a regular basis. To avoid these eye problems, practice a few simple eye exercises like eye rolling, repeated blinking and focusing on a distant object to give some respite to your strained eyes.
4. Use appropriate glasses: There are computer glasses specifically designed to reduce eye strain, headaches, eye fatigue, and eye soreness. Wear them regularly if you’re constantly glued to the digital screens. These eyeglasses are able to filter out blue light emitted from computers, smartphones and tablets.
5. Adjust your screen settings: If the current settings of your laptop or desktop are causing eye strain, then adjust the screen brightness, contrast, and font size until you find what’s best for you.
6. Ensure there is good lighting: Good lighting is essential at the workplace to avoid visual strain. It is also important to take measures to prevent glare, shadow and reflection caused by external sources of light, as these can contribute to eye strain. Keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum, use blinds to prevent glare, or get a glare screen. Position the computer screen in such a way that it reduces reflections from windows or overhead lights.
7. Rearrange your desk: If you are using a desktop at work/home ensure that the monitor is slightly below eye level and about 20 to 28 inches away from your face. Ensure that you do not have to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to look at the screen.
8. Get a comprehensive eye test done: If you’re witnessing recurrent headaches, watery eyes and blurred vision, then it is time for you to get a comprehensive eye examination done. Do not forget to inform your ophthalmologist about the duration of computer use at office and at home.
9. Look for alternatives: People did communicate with each other before the discovery of social media and other networking apps. So, pick up that phone and dial the person you want to talk to.
10. Host ‘walk and talk’ meetings: Unlike traditional meetings, where a projector is set up and attendees are seen sitting around a table or desk with their laptops, ‘walk and talk’ meetings can help people to brainstorm in a better way. Further, it will also cut down on their use of digital devices and help professionals walk together and generate a lot of ideas.