What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
If you work a common desk job, browse social media frequently, or spend your free time gaming you’ve likely already experienced the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. Also referred to as digital eye strain, CVS is a collection of vision related symptoms that occur during extended computer use. This can also include phones, tablets, TV’s, or any other type of screen.
The average American spends well over 8 hours a day staring at some kind of screen, so it’s no wonder more than half the population needs glasses. The vast majority of CVS symptoms are only temporary and will fade shortly after looking away from the screen. However, some can have a permanent affect on aspects of your vision such as farsightedness. The best way to begin combating CVS is to learn how to spot it.
What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?
Extended viewing on a computer or any digital screen is the obvious culprit, but what exactly is going on behind the scenes? To put it simply, digital screens make your eyes work harder than normal so they become tired. Many different factors affect the discomfort you feel.
- When viewing a digital screen you are much closer than you would be just writing or reading.
- Screens produce glare that can be distracting and forces your eyes to constantly readjust.
- Digital letters aren’t as rigid or well contrasted as printed letters, so they don’t appear as sharp.
- Preexisting vision problems can enhance the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Diagnosing and Treating Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, optometrists focus more closely on visual acuity, coordination, and refraction. This is important in determining whether the problem is:
- An imperfection in the eye
- A problem with coordination
- Or a preexisting health problem
Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome is very simple and rarely ever more complicated than regular eye care. It could range from lens prescription to just changing your viewing habits. One solution we highly recommend trying out are computer glasses. Because most users sit about 20-26 inches from the computer screen, they lie in a sort of dead zone between far driving distance and close reading distance. This can result in blurred vision and further eye strain.
But, our most important piece of advice we could offer you in this passage is this: follow the 20/20/20 rule. Take a 20 sec to 2 minute break every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet or more away. This simple tip forms the crux of basic eye safety, and will do wonders if you are experiencing regular eye strain during screen use. If you want to learn more about the relationship between your eyes and your technology, please call Accent Eye Care today at 602-547-3255.