Screen Zombies, Part 2
Updated: Aug 29, 2020
What makes a Screen Zombie?
In the stock image I've selected for this post, I count six Screen Zombies staring intently at large computer screens. It's great that their office is open and well-lit, with large floor-to-ceiling windows in the distance, but my guess is that 90% of their day is spent looking at those monitors approximately 20 inches from their face. That's work life in Year 2020, and it's true if you're still at an office or now work mostly from home. Screen Zombies are everywhere.
But how do you know if you're a Screen Zombie, or are at risk of becoming one? This answer boils down to the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which we'll cover briefly:
1) Dry Eyes - Do your eyes ever get irritated? Or do they have a sandy, gritty feeling? This can be pain that ranks relatively low on a 1-to-10 Pain Scale, like a 2 or a 3, but for some people it's rather severe (more than a 5 on the Pain Scale).
2) Eye Strain - The clinical term for this is asthenopia, and it is the fatigue or tiring of the eyes due to overuse of the visual organs. When related to working at computer or phone screens, it's called Digital Eye Strain.
3) Blurred Vision - Believe it or not, your vision doesn't "just happen": your eyes are constantly working in some small way to adjust for whatever you're looking at, whether that's an object up close or far away. This symptom is related to Digital Eye Strain.
4) Headaches - In more severe cases of CVS, the Digital Eye Strain is so severe that patients will report headaches, which they usually describe being felt most acutely in the area around their eyes and forehead. These are often noted as being more common towards the end of the work day.
Most importantly, even if you don't currently experience any of the symptoms listed above, just knowing what to look for can be helpful so that you can improve your visual hygiene. For example, if you start to experience mild dry eye symptoms, take steps right away so that you don't get the more sever symptoms like blurry vision or headaches. Nip that CVS in the bud!