Computer Vision Syndrome

With the widespread use of computers, tablets, phone screens and other electronic devices, a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is becoming quite common. Our eyes were not designed to be consistently focusing at screens for multiple hours throughout the day. It has been found that 50% to 90% of computer users suffer to some degree of CVS. Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include tired eyes, headaches, double vision, dry eyes, eye twitching, and neck pain. Computer Vision Syndrome does not affect only adults. It is quite common to see elementary students, teenagers, and college students present with CVS symptoms with the amount of screen activity they complete on a daily basis.

A first step in the treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome is to obtain a comprehensive eye examination to assure that there is no uncorrected refractive error such as farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia. Many people do not realize that they need a glasses prescription because they did not realize how clear their vision could be. An eye doctor will be able to prescribe a lens that can balance the eyes and relax the focusing system. A near work specific lens will likely be prescribed. These lenses will even benefit those with CVS that do not need distance glasses.

With Computer Vision Syndrome, it is important to take breaks from the screens. A helpful tip is the 20-20-20 rule which says that people should take 20 seconds every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away. This will help the focusing muscles in the eye relax. It is also important to remember to blink when at the computer as the blinking rate when focusing often drops 30%. Glare issues should also be reviewed. Lighting should not be directly in front or behind the monitor. Overhead fluorescent lights also cause glare issues. If neck problems are an issue, it is important to properly adjust the monitor so that it is 10-20 degrees below the eyes and around 20 inches away.

Please schedule a visit with your eye doctor to discuss Computer Vision Syndrome.