Computer vision syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is a part of a broad spectrum entity of dry eye disease. With the advent of modern technologies and digitalization, increased use of digital devices has taken a toll on an individual's health and mind.
One of the direct effects of prolonged screen exposure comes down on our eyes, more specifically the ocular surface.
A very essential component of our ocular surface is the tear film by the virtue of which our eyes remain moist and comfortable. The tear film also acts as a primary barrier against most micro organisms which offend the eye.
The role of blinking in maintaining the integrity of ocular surface cannot be over emphasised in literature. As the upper and lower lid margins appose and retract back to their position, a new layer of tear film is spread out as the eyelids glide against the ocular surface. This frequent replenishment of tear film with every blink is what contributes to a healthy ocular surface.
Any insufficiency in the tear film due to any cause leads to an unsound ocular surface and these proceeds to appearance of symptoms such as dryness, grittiness, heaviness, redness, irritation and even reflex watering.
In computer vision syndrome, the primary defect leading to a feeble ocular surface is diminished blinking. When one focuses on something near, such as a mobile phone or a laptop or even a book, our involuntary blink rate decreases and replenishment of our tear film is hampered.
This is why on prolonged screen time; the symptoms of dry eye are experienced.
To prevent the onset of computer vision syndrome, it's important to limit screen time. Since it's impractical in present day scenario, frequent breaks in between works wonders. So, 20-20-20 rule should be followed by everyone.
That is, every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break of 20 seconds where an object which is 20 feet away should be focused.
Frequent use of artificial tear substitutes provides symptomatic relief as well.
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