Findings from the American Optometric Association indicate that above 70 percent of workers that work each day at a computer (close to 143 million people) experience computer vision syndrome or eye strain. Excessive periods of sitting at the computer can result in eye strain and impact eyesight in children and adults. If you sit at a computer monitor for more than 2 hours daily it is very possible that you will suffer symptoms of CVS.
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Extended use of the computer can result in many of the common signs of computer eye strain such as:
- Loss of Focus
- Burning Eyes
- Dry, Tired Eyes
- Double Vision
- Blurry Vision
- Pain in Neck and Shoulders
What Are The Causes of CVS?
Computer eye fatigue and computer vision syndrome are a result of the need for our eyes and brain to compensate for viewing letters on an electronic screen in a different way than they do for words on a page. While our eyes have little problem focusing on printed material that has dense black letters with distinct borders, they are less familiar with letters on a digital screen that lack the same amount of clarity and definition.
Characters on a screen are composed of combinations of tiny dots of light (pixels), which are brightest at the center and lower in brightness toward the edges. This makes it more difficult for our eyes to keep focus on this text. Rather, our eyes prefer to revert to a reduced level of focusing called the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily move to the RPA and then have to make a great effort to focus on the screen. The continual effort by the eye muscles to focus creates the fatigue and eye strain that often appear with extended use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't a matter of concern just for computer users. It's important to note that other electronic gadgets such as mobile phones or tablets can cause similar strain that can be in some cases even worse. Because mobile screens are often small the eyes have to put even more exertion into reading the images.
Remedies for Computer Vision Syndrome and Eye Fatigue
Computer vision syndrome can negatively affect your productivity so if you are experiencing discomfort it is worthwhile to see an eye care professional as soon as possible.
At an exam, your eye doctor will perform tests to detect any particular vision issues that might worsen computer vision syndrome. According to the results of these tests, your practicioner may suggest prescription computer eyeglasses to help you work more efficiently at your computer screen. An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer glasses. An anti-reflective coating lessens glare that may affect your ability to see images clearly on your computer.
Ergonomics for CVS
Ergonomics, or setting up your workstation to limit the need for your eyes and your body to strain to accommodate, can help reduce some physical symptoms of CVS. Proper lighting and frequent breaks will help to some extent. Nevertheless, since ergonomics alone cannot resolve problems with vision, wearing prescription computer glasses is also necessary.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of CVS, contact our Clarksville, IN optometric office.