Statis tics shows that 70% of all computer users report symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS in short). Chances are that the remaining 30% may also suffer from CVS but they just have not recognize it as such. The fact is, you only need to spend more than 2 hours working on the computer daily, and you're at the risk of developing CVS!

The American Optometric Association identified the following 14 CVS symptoms:

1. Eye fatigue 8. Experience blurred near vision
2. Eyestrain 9. Slow in accommodation and focusing of the eyes
3.  Sore eyes 10. Excessive tearing
4. Dry eyes 11. Experience discomfort when wearing contact lenses
5. Red eyes 12. Change in colour sensitivity
6. Burning eyes 13. Glare sensitivity
7. Experience blurred distance vision 14. Headaches

Causes of CVS:

•  Lack of blinking:

when using a computer, we tend to ˇ§forgetˇ¨ to blink as often because we are always re-focusing. The lack of blinking causes our eyes to become dry, turn red and irritated.

•  Over exposure to bright light:

it is important to have proper lighting when working in front of a computer, meaning the lightings should be evenly distributed in our surroundings and that there is no bright light in our field of vision. However, we are often have too much light in our surroundings, for example, we have overhead lighting, table lamps, etc. Too much bright light can cause glare which has adverse effects to our eyes.

•  Squinting:

Squinting is a natural reaction of the eyes when exposed to glare produced by computer screens, fluorescent light, sunlight through the windows, etc. Squinting can cause headaches and eye fatigue.

•  Computer screens of poor quality:

Poor quality computer screens often have low resolution, low pixel numbers, high contrast colours and flickering screen. Such characteristics of a low quality screen can give extra strain to the eyes.

•  Light reflected by the computer screen:

Reflections on the screen may block out parts of the screen, forcing the user to move around and sit in an awkward position. Sitting in an improper position for a long period of time, can cause orthopedic problems such as back, neck and shoulder aches.

Steps to preventing CVS:

•  Use a high quality screen

•  Increase the resolution

•  Remember to blink your eyes frequently

•  Make sure there is proper lighting and even brightness at your workstation

•  Do not place the screen facing the windows

•  Take away any source of glare in the office

•  Angle the screen slightly below eye-level

•  Position your screen 50-60cm away from your eyes

•  Seek professional guidance from the optometrist, and go for eye-examinations annually.

P.S.: For people aged 40 and above, normal spectacles and contact lenses may not be able to correct the mid-range needed for a computer screen. Therefore, it is wise to acquire another pair of computer glasses.