Computer Vision Syndrome

computer vision syndrome

That general sense of strain or discomfort has a name

If you use a computer at work on a regular basis, there is a good chance you have experienced some computer-related discomfort at some point. You know the feeling: dry eyes, fatigue, blurred vision, a general sense of strain or discomfort.  This wide array of related visual problems is known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), and it affects up to 75% of the computer-using workforce.

Even the newest high-resolution displays still cannot offer the sharpness of words on a printed page, and it is not often practical or even possible to set up a workstation that places the monitor at the optimum viewing distance from the user. So the tiny muscles that bend and pull the natural lens in your eye to keep everything in focus get tired, and the result is slew of symptoms that occur as the visual demands of your task exceed your ability to perform the task comfortably.  Computer screens introduce some unique challenges for users of all ages, and as little as two consecutive hours in front of one can result in the onset of some temporary, but quite uncomfortable visual symptoms as well as head, neck and back pain.

And even patients with progressive eyeglasses or multi-focal contact lenses, which are specifically designed to assist with focusing on objects at a variety of distances, may find that their computer screen does not fall exactly into any comfortable viewing zone.

The first thing I would recommend to anyone who experiences persistent discomfort when using a computer is to simply take a break.  Moving your focus off the computer screen for as little as 20 seconds at a time can help rest the tiny muscles in your eye and allow your focusing reflex to normalize and relieve the symptions of Computer Vision Syndrome.  When this is not enough, wearing a pair of corrective glasses specifically designed for computer use can help patients regain their ability to easily adjust their focus. These customized computer lenses can also help by reducing uncomfortable glare and can be made with special tints and lens coatings that provide sharper vision and better protection to the eyes.