With world under siege due to COVID-19, life has been completely changed. Life has been restricted to the vicinity of homes alone. Everyone is operating through the internet now. Whether it be talking to friends or working, all is being done virtually now. It has been a major adjustment, but students have it the hardest.
In most parts of the world, schools and universities have been closed off since March and have switched to online medium of education. Notwithstanding the obvious internet issues, the problems posed by online classes are aplenty.
One of the most important issue with virtual school is the screen time. Students already had to consult internet constantly for learning tools, but with the addition of online classes, screens have become a perpetual presence in their life.
Too much use of screen is a cause for concern as it leads to all sorts of health issues. Back and neck have to suffer from bad posture when hunched over the screen. Similarly, sedentary life is also not conducive for health. But perhaps the most frequent complaints are related to eyesight. So many people have to go to the Eye specialist in Karachi due to a phenomenon known as digital eye strain.
What is digital eye strain?
Also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain refers to set of conditions and problems that occur due to the use of digital screens. Eyes get tired from focusing too much on the screen as viewing screens is very different from viewing things otherwise.
Screens have various factors that make the eyes work harder. The font size is not always convenient for viewing. Many a times, the contrast is very poor which forces one to concentrate and focus even more.
Glare on the screen also leads to less than ideal situation. Similarly, digital platform has multi-colored and multi-sized text and material. This constant focusing in and out of the vision, changes in the view, onslaught of color etc. strains eyes even further.
As many students have to constantly shift from their screen to their notes or book, this also leads to eyes having to make constant adjustments.
All these factor compound to make the muscles of the eyes work more to get the job done. Consequently, they get tired.
Moreover, not just the eyes, but the muscles of the entire upper body have to work harder as well. Not everyone has a comfortable, perfectly aligned chair to take their online classes on and study at. Most of the students unconsciously subject their head to weird postures that puts great strain on their neck.
Also, due to sitting in all postures and then huddling over the screen, back muscles also have to endure a lot of distress. All these issues therefore lead to a lot of discomfort for the entire body.
What are the symptoms of digital eye strain?
Whereas digital eye strain itself does not damage eyes or eyesight for that matter, but it does lead to physical discomfort and problems. These include blurring of the vision and seeing double. Moreover, as when we look at screen, we do not blink very often which causes eyes to become dry and red.
Similarly, eyes also get irritated due to DES. Headaches, back ache and cricks in the neck are also caused due to this problem.
What is the solution?
It is not possible to cut out screens from the life, but it is possible to manage DES.
1 Give yourself a break
Working continuously is the crux of the problem. So, set yourself some breaks to rest the eyes. An easy to remember rule is 20-20-20; after 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Blinking your eyes helps to bring fresh set of tears in so they remain moist. Hence, consciously get your eyes blinking when working with the screens. If that’s still ineffective, perhaps get artificial tears.
3 Safe distance
Make sure that there is always some space between yourself and the screen. Also, place it so that it is a little below the line of sight.
4 Sit comfortable
Posture is everything. If you want to save yourself constant muscle aches, get yourself a good sitting space. Make sure you do not hunch excessively. Also, sit in a bright place; the light from your screen should be in the same range as the light in the room.
5 Get the glare out
Glare on the screen is very problematic so always situate your digital devices where they do not catch glare. Moreover, screen filters are also available that can help you in getting rid of the glare.
6 Device settings
Make sure that the size of the font on the device is large enough. Dirty screens pose legibility issues so make sure they are clean. Brightness should be optimal as well. You can also talk to best eye specialist in Karachi for getting special glasses for computers only.