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Computer Vision Syndrome


What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Eye problems caused by computer use fall under the heading computer vision syndrome. It includes a whole range of eye strain and pain. Research shows that between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some eye related symptoms.
These days, most people have jobs that require them to stare at computer screens for hours at a time. That can put a real strain on their eyes.

Here is a Glimpse into Computer Vision Syndrome Causes:

There are multiple computer syndrome causes like:

  • Poor lighting
  • Screen glare
  • Uncorrected vision problems
  • Poor posture

Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

You may have experienced at least one of the common symptoms of computer vision syndrome which include

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

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.

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 changing images on the screen so your brain can process what you’re seeing. 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.

You’re more likely to have problems if you already have eye trouble, if you need glasses but don’t have them, or if you wear the wrong prescription for computer use.


Computer Vision Syndrome Prevention

With these simple practices, you can reduce the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Make sure the lighting in the room is comfortable on the eyes, and prevents you from staring into glare on the computer screen.
  • Position the digital display so that your head is in a naturally comfortable position while using.
  • Take breaks. A few minutes away from the computer can go a long way when it comes to your eyes. Think of it similarly to the way you take stretch breaks for your arms and back.
  • Make sure your seat is comfortable. A comfortable chair with support for your neck and back will help you avoid neck and shoulder strain commonly associated with computer vision syndrome.

Even after taking care of your eyes if your eyes still trouble you then it is best to consult your eye doctor to make sure that other causes like weak eye muscles, dry eyes, eye power etc can be managed as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can computer vision syndrome cause blindness?

No. There is no scientific proof that computer vision syndrome can cause blindness. However, it can cause blurred vision.

It is highly suggested that you take steps to reduce the damage caused by computer vision syndrome. The steps can include ensuring you are working under proper lighting, sitting in a comfortable position, taking eye breaks and doing eye exercises.

Eye exercises can be very helpful in reducing the effect of computer vision syndrome. Here are some of the best eye exercises you can do: flexing, palming, zooming and figure of eight.

Taking frequent eye breaks is important if you don’t wish to cause irreversible damage to your eyes caused by computer eye syndrome. 20-20 rule is one such activity that works by giving you effective eye breaks. Here’s how it works:

You can start by looking away from the screen every 20 minutes. It’s suggested that you look at something that is 20 feet distant for approximately 20 seconds. It’s also important to blink frequently to keep your eyes moist. You may try some eye drops if your eyes feel dry.

It is believed that blue light glasses do help in reducing the eye damage caused by computer vision syndrome. However, there is no credible study or research to back up the claim.

There is no definite timeline. It entirely depends on the damage already inflicted and the steps you are taking to reduce the damage. However, it is always better to take breaks if you are looking at a screen like computer, laptop, tablets, phone, television, and more.

Yes, computer eye syndrome can be managed and treated. For a computer vision syndrome treatment, it’s suggested that you consult an ophthalmologist to initiate and direct the right treatment for you, according to your eye condition and damage.

An ophthalmologist would suggest a treatment after careful detection, evaluation, and management, accompanied by an elaborated assessment of your condition and routine before designing the best possible protocol for your treatment.

There is no evident proof, but some studies do show that screens can have an effect on the brain. Exposure to longer screen times can cause eye strain, blurred vision and issues like near-sightedness. As screens emit blue light, they affect the circadian rhythms when we are trying to fall asleep. 

Ergonomics is the technique of arranging things. Taking these steps can be helpful and important to prevent and treat computer ey syndrome. However, depending on ergonomics alone, such as keeping a computer screen at a comfortable distance cannot fix the problem. The problem can be fixed by getting yourself treated by a skilled ophthalmologist.


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