Computer Vision Syndrome Affects 75% of PC Users

Manila Bulletin, March 31, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Computer Vision Syndrome Affects 75% of PC Users


Byline: CHRIS DATOL

Its a problem staring computer users right in the face, but it remains a virtually unknown condition people only have a blurry concept about. For valid reason though, because it is unheard of in the country, and its recurrent symptoms are conveniently associated with other conditions.

Apparently, 75 percent of regular computer users suffer from a condition called "Computer Vision Syndrome" or CVS, which is characterized by eye strain or eye fatigue, dry eyes, burning eyes, light sensitivity vision (photophobia), muscle spasms, headache and pain in the shoulders, neck or back. Anyone spending two or more hours daily working on a computer is said to be at risk for developing CVS, studies say.

Alina Iledan, product manager, Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals, said that the American Optometrist Association has identified CVS only in recent years as a collection of eye and vision problems associated with computer use. "Computer users have always connected muscular pain, headache, back pain, and neckache to arthritis, after a prolonged exposure to a visual terminal like a computer or TV monitor. What they dont know is that its actually a vision problem that is treatable and shouldnt be endured," she explained.

Research papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Ophthalmologist Association magazine confirm the growing concern for dry eye problems stemming from computer use. But most sufferers are not even aware that they have the condition.

Iledan further discussed that the eyes are not created for close-up work, requiring at least a distance of six meters from a visual terminal. However, computer users who need to stay very close to their monitors are abusing their eyes in the process, she said.

"Our eyes normally blink at least every six seconds for proper lubrication, but when we are focused on a monitor, we often intentionally open our eyes wider and for longer periods, that we forget to blink.

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