What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
These days, many of us have jobs that require us to stare at computer screens for hours at a time. That can put a real strain on your eyes.
Eye problems caused by computer use fall under the heading computer vision syndrome (CVS). It isn’t one specific problem. Instead, it includes a whole range of eye strain and discomfort. Research shows that between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms.
Working adults aren't the only ones affected. Kids who stare at tablets or use computers during the day at school can have issues, too, especially if the lighting and their posture are less than ideal.
How Do Computers Affect Vision?
CVS is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries you might get at work. It happens because your eyes follow the same path over and over. And it can get worse the longer you continue the movement.
When you work at a computer, your eyes have to focus and refocus all the time. They move back and forth as you read. You may have to look down at papers and then back up to type. Your eyes react to images constantly moving and changing, shifting focus, sending rapidly varying images to the brain. All these jobs require a lot of effort from your eye muscles. And to make things worse, unlike a book or piece of paper, the screen adds contrast, flicker, and glare. What's more, it is proven that we blink far less frequently when using a computer, which causes the eyes to dry out and blur your vision periodically while working.
What Are the Symptoms of CVS?
There's no proof that computer use causes any long-term damage to the eyes. But regular use can lead to eye strain and discomfort.
You may notice:
- Blurred vision
- Double Vision
- Dry, red eyes
- Eye irritation
- Neck or back pain
How Is CVS Treated?
A few simple changes to your work space can improve your symptoms and prevent new problems:
- Cut the glare.
- Rearrange your desk
- Give your eyes a break
- Tweak your settings