Computer Vision Syndrome and Your Eyes

by Jul 21, 2019

For many people, spending several hours of the day looking at screens is just a part of life.  Cellphones, tablets, computers, and TV’s have become essential to our work life as well as our personal life, but they may be taking a toll on our eyes.  Prolonged screen time can cause a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as eye strain, dryness, blurred vision, headaches, and more.  


Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome

The symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, can range from mild annoyances to significant burdens.  Most commonly, people who spend a long period of time on the computer notice dryness and irritation. Another common complaint is eye fatigue and occasional blurred vision.  More serious symptoms can include painful headaches and double vision; extended screen time has even been associated with the development of sleep disorders. Many people notice that their symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome disappear when they stop using their digital screen; however, in some unfortunate cases, the symptoms can last for hours after screen use has stopped.  


Treating Digital Eye Strain

While suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome can be burdensome, there are easy steps that can be taken to significantly reduce the severity of symptoms associated with the condition.  Below are some commonly recommended tips and treatments to help reduce the discomfort caused by the use of digital screens. 


Computer Glasses

For those whose jobs require prolonged screen time, a pair of computer glasses may be effective in reducing eye strain and fatigue at work.  An optometrist can write a specialized glasses prescription that calculates for your regular glasses prescription and your working distance, and helps to reduce the visual demand placed on your eyes from long hours at the computer.  Special lens options such as anti-reflective coatings, blue blocking lenses, or no-line bifocals can make these glasses even more effective.


The 20-20-20 Rule

 A very simple way to help reduce eyestrain during long hours on a screen is to follow what is known as the 20-20-20 rule, which states that for every 20 minutes of computer work, you should stare at an object that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.  This suggestion aims to reduce the demand on the focusing system of the eyes and helps reduce eye fatigue. 

Artificial Tears and Eye Drops

Keeping artificial tears handy during screen time can significantly decrease the dryness and irritation associated with the use of digital screens.  While looking at screens, we tend to only blink about one-third as often as we should, meaning the front of our eyes easily dry out. Using lubricating eye drops can reduce discomfort and protect the ocular surface. 

Adjust Your Computer Screen

Reducing brightness can alleviate eye fatigue by reducing glare.  Position the screen directly in front of you to prevent neck or back pain.  Adjusting the computer settings to display a larger text can reduce the demand on your eyes and lessen eye strain.  Take some time to find what settings work best for you and help keep your eyes more comfortable!


Our eye doctors and staff at EyeDocs Family Eye Care excel in the diagnosis of computer vision syndrome.  Our optometrists can help you with your computer difficulties and ease your strain.  Call us at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online.  Our optometrists provide the highest quality eye care services in the Brookeville, OH 45309 area. 

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