Computer Vision Syndrome Overview

Computers are an important part of our lives.  Research shows a rise in the detection of visual problems associated with computer use - referred to as computer vision syndrome.

Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Double vision
  • Excessive tearing or dry eyes
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Excessive blinking

Prevention

  • Position your screen about an arm’s length from your eyes and 20 degrees below eye level.
  • Keep your room lighting the same brightness as your computer screen. Don’t stare at the monitor in a dark room
  • Minimize reflected glare on your screen by using dimmer switches on lights and protective anti-reflection coatings on glasses
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
  • Blink fully. People tend to blink less than half as often during computer use, which can result in dry eyes. Use of eyedrops prescribed by your Optometrist may relieve comfort.
  • Ask for anti-reflection coatings on lenses of your glasses, that can be applied at the time of manufacturing, to protect your eyes from bright and/or flickering light sources such as fluorescent lights. Your Optometrist can recommend appropriate eyewear specifically suited for computer use.

Treatment

  • Small uncorrected refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses to increase the efficiency and comfort when working at the computer.
  • Eye muscle misalignment or deficiencies can be improved through eye exercises or vision therapy, which can reduce the focusing strain on the eyes.
  • A routine eye exam will determine if you can benefit from glasses, contact lenses, or vision therapy.