Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that causes eye and vision-related problems due to an over or extended use of computers, televisions, or other electronic devices. Eye discomfort is a common side effect of extended screen use. Usually starting off tolerable and steadily increasing the more the person continues to view the screen.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome causes an array of similar eye-related symptoms such as:
- Dry eyes
- Blurry Vision
- Neck and Shoulder pain
Not every individual suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome will experience the symptoms equally. The severity depends on a person’s specific visual abilities and the duration of time they were viewing the screen. Other factors such as age, uncorrected vision issues, and poor eye coordination or focus, can all play a role in how the symptoms of CVS develop.
Symptoms are usually temporary and wear off after several hours away from screens. However, continued visual impairment after using devices for extended periods is common. In this case, Computer Vision Syndrome should be diagnosed and treated by an eye care professional immediately. Symptoms may worsen if this is left unchecked and screens continue to be viewed even at a lesser frequency.
Other Factors of Computer Vision Syndrome
It is common for the symptoms that are associated with CVS to be caused by other factors. These factors include:
- Screen glare
- Uncorrected vision issues
- Poor viewing distance
- Bad lighting
When a person views a screen, the eye must work harder to process the image. Letters and other symbols are not defined with the same precision as on printed sheets of paper. Which means your eye has to strain more to make out words against a background. That combined with glare, reflections, and other characteristics unique to reading off of screens. Makes everyday people susceptible to Computer Vision Syndrome.
How to Treat
There are various different treatments that can be used to eliminate, reduce, or prevent CVS. Treatments include:
- Altering your eyeglass or contact lens prescription – talk to your eye care professional about acquiring a new prescription that is designed to be used with screens. Your normal prescription may lack the support needed to handle regular, extended screen use.
- Vision training – Also known as vision therapy or correction, vision training is a program that is designed to improve your vision through a series of visual activities that train the eyes to work better with the brain. This can be done as a hybrid program containing both eye care office visits and in-home sessions.
Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome
If you are looking to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, here are some tips to protect your eyes:
- The 20/20/20 rule – take a 20-second break for every 20 minutes of screen time, and look at something 20 feet away.
- Sit with the screen at least 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes.
- Position your screens to avoid as much glare as possible
- Use your display settings to adjust brightness, to reduce strain.
- Use comfortable, padded chairs, and good posture whenever possible.