Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that is caused by staring into a computer screen or other display device for extended periods of time. This is a practice in which the individual looks at the screen uninterrupted during which time the eyes become fatigued and the muscles required for vision do not have an adequate amount of time to recover.

The symptoms are extensive and include blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes, double vision, eye strain and eye fatigue, an inability to refocus vision once the individual looks away from the screen, and the more serious issues of vertigo and polypia. This last condition is a disorder in which duplicate images of a single object appear, also called ‘double vision’.
It should come as no surprise that anywhere from 50% to 90% of the American population who work on computers suffer from some of these symptoms. Worse, our children are starting out life with these issues at a younger age because of their constant exposure to tablets, phones and computers. Many doctors have compared CVS to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is an injury to hands and fingers due to repetitive motions that can lead to nerve damage and limited use of these body parts over time.  The same outcome can be expected for your eyes with the repetitive viewing of screens. Your eyes are constantly focusing and refocusing as images change on the screen which unlike books, subjects the eyes to glare, flickering and contrast.
You can lessen the negative symptoms of CVS by adopting the following habits:
• Adjust the lighting around your computer to minimize the glare. Overhead lights and natural sunlight can both lead to a glare from the screen. Using soft lighting will minimize this issue. You should also purchase a glare filter for your computer screen.
• Position the screen so that it’s use does not cause you to stretch your neck or strain your eyes to view it. If you are working from a printed source that is not on the computer itself arrange it on a stand so that your eyes can move easily from one to the other.
• Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Blink often to keep your eyes moist.
Do you have more questions about CVS? Contact the professionals at Island Eyecare. We are experts in all aspects of eyecare.