It is estimated that nearly 140 million Americans use a computer at work, home, or school on a daily basis. While computers have dramatically improved our lives over the last 20 years, they haven’t been quite so kind to the eyes viewing them. Millions of people, using the computer more than 2 hours a day, have experienced Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
CVS is a combination of visual and physical symptoms due to the stress placed on the eyes with extended and chronic computer use. It is most often accompanied by:
- Loss of focus
- Burning/tired eyes
- Blurred vision
- Shoulder/back aches
What Causes CVS?
In my experience with many CVS patients, there appears to be 3 main contributing factors:
- Constant contraction of the near-focus muscles of the eye: this produces fatigue, headaches, fluctuating or decreased focus.
- Glare from the computer screen: interferes with clear vision, producing eye strain and uncomfortable vision.
- Decreased blinking of the eyes: results in greater evaporation of moisture from the eyes which then causes dryness, burning, redness and further blurry vision
Solutions for CVS
The best approach to CVS is a two-pronged treatment plan. The first step is prescription Computer Glasses, based on careful testing of your visual tendencies when focusing up close. This will relieve the focusing demand & stress created by chronic computer use. Computer glasses will also incorporate Anti-Glare Treatment, which will free your eyes from computer glare and will allow for clear AND comfortable vision. The second aspect of treating CVS is to address the physical symptoms created by reduced blinking. Careful assessment of your ocular surface will allow for recommendations of artificial tears specific to your situation. In some cases, complete relief may require prescription eye drops or the installation of tear duct plugs to retain your own natural tears.
If you find yourself in front of the computer on a daily basis, make sure to discuss any of these issues with your optometrist or schedule an appointment to see us. Your eyes don’t have to suffer from CVS !