Digital eye strain (DES), which was earlier known as the computer vision syndrome, is now on the rise.
Earlier, it was just the computers; however, now with the introduction of a lot of gadgets like the laptops, palmtops, tablets, mobile phones, etc, it is referred to as digital eye strain (DES).
Overuse or an improper way of handling the devices is what leads to DES.
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It might start with minor symptoms like slight pain in the eyes; but if not taken care of on time, it might lead to loss of vision in the future.
Initial symptoms of DES might include eye strain, watering, pain in the eyes, blurring of vision, redness, etc.
However it might even increase to headache, irritability, restlessness and you also tend to be short-tempered, as you'll not be able to get a sound sleep. As you wake up in the morning, you won't feel fresh as well.
The symptoms are less in the morning, as the day progresses and you start to work, it gets more in the evening; and around night, the symptoms become unbearable.
As the day passes, with another 4-6 months time, the pain and other symptoms will see an increase.
Along with the symptomatic problems, the DES also has certain other associated problems.
Back and neck pain are the most commonly associated health issues. In addition to this, in those having DES, shoulder pain and finger pain are quite common.
Most of the people who are frequently using their digital equipments, be it at their office or at home, are not provided with an adequate training and procedure to use it, in order to avoid DES.
Prevention & Treatment:
The first and foremost preventive aspect is educating the users about the best way to use the devices. The rooms where people sit and use the digital devices like computers should have adequate lighting.
One should not sit directly under the AC vent in the office, as this can lead to the evaporation of tears from the eyes.
One should try to follow the 20-20-20 rule. For those working for long hours at office on computers and laptots, after every 20 minutes, they should focus on a distant object, which is 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
This can help reduce the strain on the eyes.
The monitor screen on which they are working should not be too bright and the fonts should not be too small.
When you work on computers continuously, the blinking of the eyes reduces to 6-8 times a minute. While ideally, it should be 16-18 times a minute.
However, it is always advisable to have a regular eye check-up done once in 6 months. Even if there is a small change in the power, it can cause a headache or other related eye problems.
MBBS, M.S.Ramiah Medical College, Bangalore, DOMS, Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur and DNB, Nara
Dr. Priyank Solanki, is currently the Asst. Medical Director, Dr.Solanki Eye Hospital,Bangalore.