Computer vision syndrome

After a long day at the computer, have you ever found yourself squinting to see things in the distance? Blinking constantly because your eyes are dry and irritated? If so, you were likely suffering from one of the most common vision conditions in the world, Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS as it is commonly known, is a rising concern among computer users worldwide. Basically, CVS is the name given to any eye and vision problems caused by or related to computer use. This can mean watery eyes, itchiness, blurred vision or general eye fatigue. In the United States, it is estimated that two-thirds of those who use a computer suffer from some form of CVS. According to the American Optometric Association, about 14 percent of patients who schedule eye exams do so because they are experiencing CVS.

People who spend two or more continuous hours at a computer daily are the most susceptible to CVS. With ever-expanding computer usage in the workforce and among students, the number of people at risk continues to grow. The good news is that so far, there is no solid evidence that indicates computer use results in permanent vision damage. Still, CVS is a significant problem affecting many people and buying high-quality contact lenses at discount prices might be the perfect solution. 

So what causes CVS? First of all, staring at a computer screen is harder on the eyes than looking at regular objects like a piece of paper. This is because of the way characters are formed on the monitor; tiny pixels make up the images, and because they are not solid like words on a page, our eyes are forced to constantly readjust their focus on the images to see them clearly. Consequently, the extra strain on our eyes is what leads to the symptoms of CVS. Also, many people tend to blink less while looking at a computer screen, which causes the eyes to dry out and grow irritated.

Sometimes CVS is exacerbated by the work environment. For instance, where the monitor is positioned in relation to eye level is very important. If you have to look up to view the screen, it puts more strain on your eyes because your eyelids are farther retracted, which dries out the eyes quicker. Therefore, placing the monitor at eye level or below is a good way to counteract CVS. In addition, glare on the monitor screen can cause problems. Using low wattage light bulbs in the same room helps, as does having blinds or drapes on the windows facing the screen.

Another way to help prevent CVS is by resting your eyes consistently. For every two hours of computer use, try to rest your eyes for at least 15 minutes. Also, the “20/20” rule may be useful: after every 20 minutes of computer use, look into the distance for 20 seconds. When dry eyes are a problem, try blinking as frequently as possible. If symptoms of CVS persist, you may want to look into getting special eye drops designed to relax tired eyes or get breathable colored lenses for natural tear flow.