Many studies show that we use more and more screens. This is not trivial and can cause Artificial Vision Syndrome: AVS (or computer vision syndrome).
With almost constant exposure to many screens (computer, television, smart phone, tablet, etc.), the studies carried out report more frequent vision problems. For many people, working from home has significantly increased the daily time spent in front of a computer.
This syndrome can affect a person with good vision as well as a person who already has a vision problem (myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, presbyopia). It will affect even more people whose sight problem already present is not treated adequately. Facing the screen, the eyes will have to make a more intense effort to obtain a clear image.
AVS can result in several symptoms, the most common being:
- Visual fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Eye irritation
- Dry eye
- Excess of tears
- Excessive blinking
Here are some tips for adapting your workspace and reducing the risk of developing AVS:
- Place your screen about an arm's length away and 20 degrees below eye level.
- Match the colors and contrasts of your screen to match the lighting in the room and so it doesn't hurt your eyes.
- Avoid glare on your screen. If you can, place it perpendicular to windows or other bright light sources, dim the lights, adjust the tilt of the screen. Use anti-glare protection on your screen.
- Have a clean screen. The accumulation of dust or fingerprints can reduce the visual clarity of the screen.
- If you work with the computer and on paper, consider acquiring a vertical support installed at the level of the screen so that the two are at the same distance.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, pause for 20 seconds while looking at something 20 feet (about 6 meters) away. This gives your eyes a well-deserved break and helps reduce symptoms.
- Consider blinking. We blink on average 12 times per minute, but only 5 times in front of a screen. It makes the eyes drier. You can also use drops to relieve the discomfort caused. Speak to your optometrist so they can advise you on the best drops.
- Ask for anti-reflective protection for your glasses lenses. It protects your eyes from bright or flickering light sources.
- Ask for eyeglass lenses designed to reduce the strain on your eyes to concentrate while working at the computer. These lenses are optimized for distance from the computer screen and maximize the field of vision (important for people who work with large screens or with multiple screens).
If you experience one or more of the symptoms listed above and/or want to use the computer comfortably and efficiently for your eyes, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your optometrist.
He will need some information about your installation and your habits to give you the best advice. Here's what he might ask you:
- The number of hours per day spent in front of the screen.
- The distance between your eyes and the screen(s).
- The organization of your workstation, the tasks you perform, the number of screens you have.
- The type and location of light sources near the computer.
All this information will also help him identify whether it is VAS or another vision or health problem.