Health Beat 4-1-2006

Eye Sore?

The good news: “There are no known long-term negative effects on the eyes from working at a computer display,” says James E. Sheedy, O.D., Ph.D., associate professor at Ohio State University College of Optometry.
    Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is not a medical diagnosis but rather a term optometrists have adopted to describe a collection of symptoms that are related to prolonged exposure to computer displays: eyestrain, dry eyes, blurry vision and headaches. What follows are some of Sheedy’s tips to prevent CVS.
    Screens shouldn’t be brighter than the general background lighting, should have a refresh rate of 85 hertz or higher, and the screen’s center should be 4 to 9 inches below eye-level. Text should be three times the size of the smallest text you can read (black-on-white text is best). And taking regular breaks to focus eyes on distant objects will let eye muscles relax.
    If workspace ergonomics don’t do the trick, consult an optometrist. CVS symptoms might be indicative of more serious eye problems.