DIGITAL EYE STRAIN: SYMPTOMS AND INTERVENTIONS
Sundaram Kartikeyan and Pradnya Jadhav*
Extensive daily use of electronic digital for prolonged periods for occupational and recreational purposes can cause an ocular symptom complex (eye-strain, tired eyes, irritation, burning sensations, redness of eyes, dry eyes, blurred and double vision) as well as musculoskeletal problems (neck, shoulder, wrist and back pain). This constellation of symptoms is due to repetitive strain injury (or cumulative trauma injury) and is collectively called “digital eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome”. Unsuitable ambient lighting conditions may worsen the ocular symptoms, whereas unnatural posturing while using display devices causes musculoskeletal symptoms. Symptoms are usually transitory, but if frequent and persistent, they can have an adverse economic impact due to increased errors and reduced productivity when professional computer users are affected. Digital eye strain can be subjectively assessed using questionnaires or objectively appraised using several parameters that provide indices of visual fatigue. Customized individual-specific strategies for managing digital eye strain include educating users; modifying ergonomics of the working environment; correcting refractive error and presbyopia; rectifying defective vergence and accommodation; managing dry eye and taking regular breaks while using digital devices. Use of blue light-filtering spectacle lenses have yielded mixed results. Due to the widespread use of digital devices, evidence-based advice and management options ought to be provided.
Keywords: Computer vision syndrome, Digital eye strain, Visual fatigue.
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