Computer Ergonomics and Healthy Vision

The computer has changed how we live life in profound ways. Unfortunately, one of the changes computer use has brought is an increase in computer-related health issues. One of the most common computer-related health issues is long-term vision issues.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Extensive computer use puts a significant strain on the eyes. Subjecting the eyes to this kind of strain over a period of time can result in nearsightedness (myopia). The tendency of vision to degrade in this way due to computer use is referred to as computer vision syndrome, or CVS.

Though CVS is a particular concern in children, it also affects adults, leading many to need reading glasses or bifocals earlier than in previous generations. The increase in computer-related vision problems has brought attention to computer ergonomics and how proper ergonomics can reduce the occurrence of computer-related health issues.

Computer Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to the practice of arranging the workspace so that it is optimized for the person using that workspace. For example, a shorter person might require a different type of chair than a taller person. In computer ergonomics, the computer workstation itself is arranged to provide the most comfortable use possible.

Some recommendations from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for computer use include:

  • Reduce glare on the screen by positioning your monitor out of direct sunlight or out of the way of other light source reflections
  • Adjust the monitor to slightly below eye level
  • Set the monitor so that you view it directly rather than at an angle

In addition, frequent breaks—every twenty minutes or so—can help your eyes recover from the strain placed on them by computer work. If you experience dry eyes while working on the computer, consider using eye drops on a regular basis.

For more information about how computer ergonomics can reduce your risk of experiencing CVS, please contact the New York City ophthalmology offices of James Kelly, MD. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have or to schedule an appointment or a consultation.