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Can The Computer Be Damaging My Eyes? | Affinity Health

Affinity Health, leading providers of high-quality medical insurance, looks at the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome and how you can protect your blinkers.


The old saying goes that watching too much TV will make your eyes go square, but what about staring at a computer screen all day?


If you work in an office, chances are your eyes look at a computer or laptop screen for most of the day. Staring at a screen can put a real strain on your eyes and result in a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).


According to studies, between 50 and 90 percent of adults who work behind an electronic screen experience at least one or more CVS symptoms, including distorted eyesight, changes in colour perception, double vision, dry eyes, eye itching, and pressure or pain behind the eyes.


What Effects do Computers Have on Vision?

CVS is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other work-related repetitive motion ailments. It occurs as a result of your eyes following the same path over and over again. The longer your eyes continue to follow the path, the worse it becomes.


When you work at a computer, your eyes are constantly focusing and refocusing. As you read, they shift back and forth. It’s possible that you’ll have to look down at documents before returning to typing.


Images that are continually moving and changing cause your eyes to shift focus, sending fast fluctuating images to your brain. All of these tasks take a significant amount of work from your eye muscles.


Learn More: Can You Exercise Your Eyes?

To make matters worse, the screen, unlike a book or piece of paper, adds contrast, flicker, and glare. There are two types of glare: direct and indirect. Direct glare is where light shines directly in your eyes, whereas screens cause and indirect glare when light reflecting off surfaces into your eyes.


Furthermore, you may see that when using a computer, you blink considerably less frequently, causing the eyes to dry out and obscure our vision at times.


“If you already have eye problems, need glasses but don’t have them, or wear the improper prescription for computer use, you’re more likely to have complications triggered by CVS,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“As we get older, computer work becomes more difficult. This is because your eyes’ natural lenses become less flexible. Around the age of 40, your ability to focus on both near and distant objects begins to deteriorate. This is why it’s important that you have your eyes assessed on a regular basis to ensure any eye problems or issues are identified early on.”


Learn More: Healthy Vision & Eye Protection

What is the Treatment for CVS?

A few easy modifications to your work environment can help you feel better and prevent future problems. Affinity Health provides the following tips:

Remove the glare:

Reduce the impression on your computer screen by changing the lighting around you. If a nearby window’s light glares on your computer, move it and close the blinds. If the overhead fixtures are excessively bright, ask your boss to install a dimmer switch or get a desk lamp with an adjustable shade that casts light evenly across your desk. You can also add a glare filter to your monitor.

Reorganise your workspace:

The optimal position for your display is 20 to 28 inches away from your face, slightly below eye level. To view what’s on the screen, you shouldn’t have to stretch your neck or strain your eyes. Place any printed papers you’re working from on a stand near to your monitor. You won’t have to look up at the screen and back down at the desk as much while typing this way.

Allow your eyes to rest:

Every 20 minutes or so, glance away from the screen for about 20 seconds. Keep your eyes moist by blinking frequently. Try some eye drops if they’re feeling dry.

Make adjustments to your monitor settings:

If you don’t like the factory pre-sets on your monitor or screen, you don’t have to live with them. Make adjustments to the brightness, contrast, and font size until you reach your desired result.

Learn More: How Do Screens Affect Your Eyes?

Have You Seen Affinity Health’s Optometry Benefit?

Affinity Health knows how important the health of your vision is. As such, The Optometry benefit provides cover for the Members’ optical requirements. Optometry services offered to all Members include eye tests and a standard set of frames with lenses every 24 months. For more information, click here.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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