According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) more than 70 percent of employed persons that work each day on a computer monitor (around 143 million people) experience computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye strain. Prolonged periods of working at the computer can cause eye stress and effect eyesight in kids as well as adults. If you spend more than two hours on a daily basis in front of a computer screen it is very possible that you will experience some degree of computer vision syndrome.
Effects of CVS
Symptoms of CVS include vision problems such as dry eyes, blurred vision, inability to focus or double vision and muscular problems such as headaches, neck pain and heavy eyes. If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms you may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome.
What Are The Causes of CVS?
Eye strain from prolonged computer use results from the necessity for our visual systems to compensate for processing words on a computer screen differently than they do for letters in print. Although our eyes have little problem keeping focus on printed content that has solid black font with clear edges, they are less familiar with texts on a screen that don't have the same degree of contrast and sharpness.
Words on a screen are composed of pixels, which are brightest in the center and diminish in intensity as they move outward. This makes it more difficult for our eyes to maintain focus on this text. Rather, our eyes prefer to drift to a reduced level of focusing called the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Through involuntary movements, our eyes revert to the resting point of accommodation and then have to make a great effort to focus on the text. This continuous effort by the muscles of the eyes to focus results in the symptoms listed above that sometimes are present with extended use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't a matter of concern just for those who spend a lot of time on computers. Other digital devices such as smart phones or iPads can result in similar strain that can be in some cases even worse. Since handheld screens are smaller the eyes have to work harder toward reading the images.
Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment
If you think that you might be at risk for computer induced eye strain, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor sooner than later.
At a computer vision exam, your eye care professional will check to see if you have any vision issues that could contribute to CVS. Depending on the outcome of the exam, your practicioner may recommend ophthalmic computer glasses to help you work more comfortably at your computer . An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer eyeglasses. An anti-reflective coating eliminates glare that may affect your ability to focus on images on your computer.
Ergonomics for CVS
Ergonomics, or setting up your computer work environment to reduce strains in vision or posture, can help minimize some of the discomfort of computer related eye strain. Adequate lighting and frequent breaks will cause some relief. Nevertheless, since ergonomics alone cannot solve a visual problem, using prescription computer glasses is also necessary.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of computer related eye strain, contact our Duvall, WA optometry practice.