It’s the symptom list of just about every office worker in the land.
Sore and tired eyes, aching neck, headache, back pain – for so long, many workers have just rolled with the punches.
However as it turns out, your computer monitor could be what’s ailing you.
Dr Jim Kokkinakis, optometrist in Sydney CBD and senior lecturer at the UNSW Optometry school, said Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a very real problem, and finally starting to get the attention it deserves.
CVS is a syndrome comprised of a few factors.
“The computer screen is the cause. But as a result we have eye strain, dry eyes, and loss in productivity, headaches, sore tired eyes, neck ache, back ache, and just the general feeling of feeling ill towards the end of the day because you’re just so exhausted,” he said.
“[CVS] first came to my attention in the mid 1980s when computer screens first hit the desktop, but it has really come to the fore with the newer generation LED screens which have a much brighter light,” Kokkinakis said.
As to how much exposure it takes to develop symptoms, it’s different for every user. For some people 20 minutes may be enough to start feeling unwell, and other people can go all day without experiencing a problem.
What’s more, in the professional opinion of Kokkinakis, there’s no question that looking at LED screens before bed can cause sleep difficulty. It’s got significant implications in terms of how our bio-rhythms are concerned.
“We run in cycles, and our brain works off light. By bombarding it with all this LED light, and blue emissions, it mucks up our sleeping patterns but also has eye health implications,” he said.
New technology is being released onto the market which is designed to stop the ‘flickering’ which is one element of the issue, as well as to suppress blue light emissions.
“It’s been shown through medical research this year that blue light is toxic to the eye and may be even implicated in the development of a condition called macular degeneration,” Kokkinakis said.
BenQ, LG and Eizo are among those brands to have released ‘eyegonomic’ flicker-free computer monitors.