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“Don’t blame me!”–The Computer

It was late in the evening and the office was empty!! I had to finish my project in another two days flat and the heavy work all of the previous week was taking its toll.

I looked up at the clock… it took some time for me to clear the needles!! “I must be overdoing it” I thought! My neck and back were hurting, turning from my text to the computer and then the printer.  My headaches were not getting any better!! I needed to take a day off to get back to normal! And that could happen only at the cost of the work being delayed!!

But wait! I could understand I was tired because I hadn’t enjoyed good sleep for long…But my eyes…? I had checked my eyes and power of my glasses only 3 months ago, but why was my vision failing now?

I had to stop work for the time being! I put off the only light at my desk and left for home.

Does this gentleman’s condition sound familiar? Then you need to know about

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) refers to eye and vision related problems associated with computer use.

The primary symptoms are:

Eyestrain
Blurred vision
Delayed refocusing
Dry eyes
Tired eyes
Head aches
Neck aches
Back aches

CVS affects 75% of the people who work on computers for more than 3 hours a day

Reasons for CVS

• Ocular (eye related) problems
• Poor Ergonomics  or
• A combination of Ocular and Ergonomic flaws.

Results:

Increased stress levels
Reduced effective work hours
Frequent absence from work
Which together spell reduced productivity.

The Solution?

The usual comprehensive ophthalmic examination focuses more on distance vision (6 m and beyond) and near vision (35 to 40 cm) and a myriad other ocular problems, whereas computer users have unique working distances with respect to the monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. The examination would also not assess the environmental conditions at work.

A Computer Vision Syndrome Clinic, however, is specially designed to address the varied needs of the computer user

So what did the gentleman do? Read on!

I met the optometrist at the Computer Vision Clinic. I sat filling the questionnaire and found that half my problems were listed out there and there were a few simple things which I had never thought of before! It looked like the questionnaire was formatted for me; I could convey all that I wanted to!

My glasses, as the Optometrist said, were of the right power. The problem lay in the functioning of my eyes with relation to my nature of work at the computer. I went through a battery of tests and was ultimately told to have a small factor of strain in my focusing mechanism. The rest of the eye was fine!

I was then shown to a set up of a computer unit where my typical office conditions were simulated! Now when I was told how I have been working, I realized that my strain might have been due to my poor work set up!

Loaded with information on the arrangement of my worktable, lighting and eye exercises and the right way to work on the computer, I felt reassured. The time I had spent with the Optometrist at the Computer Vision Syndrome Clinic was to change the way I saw my work from then on!

It’s been a long time now that we have been blaming the computer as the sole cause of all our stress and strain! The realization that our unscientific ways of working at the computer and the lag in ergonomics in the Indian scenario could add more fuel to the already raging fire of stress should now prompt us to set things right as it’s never too late and the computers have come to stay!

Happy Computing!!

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