Understanding Computer Vision Syndrome

Just a few decades ago, computer vision syndrome (CVS) was not known or understood. With an increase in the role of computers in our lives, it has become increasingly common. Researchers believe that 50-90% of people who use computers in their daily lives have experienced CVS to some degree. The amount of time that many people stare into a computer screen is increasing, and this puts significant strain on our eyes.

CVS is not considered a single specific problem. A suite of issues may be assigned to this syndrome. Additionally, with the increased use of school computers, tablets and smartphones, children are also susceptible to CVS.

This syndrome is like many other repetitive motion type conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem can start because our eyes move in the same way throughout the day (reading text on a screen). Once an issue has started, it can get worse as we continue the same behavior. While reading alone causes the same motion, screens are considerably harder for our eyes to view. Digital screens add flicker, contrast, glare, and light that all put additional strain on our eyes.

If you should use some type of corrective lens but don’t, these issues can only accelerate due to the additional strain put on your eyes.

As we age, these problems can also progress. Around the time that people turn 40, the lenses of their eyes begin to harden with a disease called presbyopia. This hardening affects your ability to see objects that are closer to you.
 

What Happens if I have CVS?

There is currently no proof that CVS causes long-term vision impairment or blindness. Continuing to use a computer or any other type of screen can continue to be an annoyance or reduce your ability to see properly. Some of the warning signs of CVS are:

  • Blurred vision

  • Double vision

  • Red or dry eyes

  • Headaches

  • Neck pain

  • Back pain

  • Eye Irritation


If you don’t properly treat CVS when these symptoms occur, you may begin to notice that you suffer from a decrease in overall quality of life or job performance.
 

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