Computer Vision Syndrome – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Computer Vision Syndrome

Let’s talk about an issue that affects most of us nowadays: Computer Vision Syndrome. This condition causes strain and discomfort for about 50-90 percent of people who use computers. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of computer vision syndrome, symptoms, and treatment of computer vision syndrome as well.

Computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain:

Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, refers to a group of eye and vision-related problems caused by prolonged use of computers, tablets, and cellphones. E-readers and e-writers are also affected by cell phone use. Many people experience eye discomfort and vision problems when using digital screens for extended periods of time.

Digital Eye Strain can also be caused by an unsuitable environment or the improper use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. To prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, lifestyle changes are necessary to improve these conditions.

Erroneous diagnosis of vision problems such as farsightedness and astigmatism, deficient eye focus or eye coordination ability, and eyes changing due to age, such as presbyopia, can all contribute to the development of visual symptoms along with the use of a computer or digital screen device.

As we all know, digital screens have become ever more prevalent than before. As more and more people continue the use of digital screens for day-to-day activities and work, they develop computer vision syndrome (CVS). This condition starts causing computer vision syndrome symptoms within just two hours of computer, tablet, or smartphone use.

The computer vision syndrome symptoms include:

  1. Eye irritation or dryness in the eyes, itchy eyes, red eyes, sore eye.
  2. Blurred vision is a common symptom of digital eye strain.
  3. Frequent headaches.
  4. Backaches.
  5. Neck aches.
  6. Muscle fatigue.

These are some of the very common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. Although it hasn’t been proven to cause any permanent damage to the eyes, the symptoms can be painful and affect one’s performance at school, work, and home.

Digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome symptoms also include:

  • Sore eyes.
  • Tired eyes.
  • Burning eyes.
  • Itchy eyes.
  • Watery or dry eyes.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Sore shoulders.
  • Increased sensitivity to light, called photophobia.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Unable to keep the eyes open.

Computer vision syndrome treatment:

The treatment for digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome symptoms includes creating a better environment and schedule. Make sure your eyes get at least 15 minutes of rest after every 2 hours of any digital device use. It is important that every 20 minutes, you look away from your screen into the distance of the room you are in. The distance must be at least 20 feet away from the digital device. It is recommended that it should be done for at least 20 seconds. This is called the 20-20-20 rule.

The computer vision syndrome treatment, in general, means the computer or screen in use should be about 20 to 28 inches away from your face, below eye level. Treatment includes creating a better work environment.

You could get some lubricating eye drops and special computer glasses that can help relieve ocular surface–related symptoms. However, you can easily diminish ocular surface-related symptoms by obtaining regular eye care and making simple changes in how you view the screen. You can get yourself some over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, which are usually labeled as artificial tears. This may help and relieve the dryness in the eyes.

Here are some tips to treat computer vision syndrome at home.

  1. Blink often to refresh your eyes. Often people blink less than usual while working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes.
  2. Take eye breaks. Make the most of the 20-20-20 rule and set an alarm to help you follow this rule.
  3. Check the lighting and reduce glare on the screen.
  4. Adjust your monitor slightly below your eye level and ensure you have a good posture to avoid
  5. neck, shoulder, and back pain.
  6. Use a holder to help you adjust the screen to the desired height and angle.
  7. Adjust your screen settings.

If you can make the required changes to your lifestyle and habits and also limit yourself from using a digital device for less than a couple of hours each day, the computer vision syndrome symptoms should only last 10-20 minutes at a time, but this will vary from person to person. You could visit an ophthalmologist if your eye strain persists even after you stop your screen time. In many cases, computer vision syndrome may go away or be less of an issue if you reduce your digital screen time or simply follow the 20-20-20 rule and give yourself some eye breaks.

Making the lifestyle changes mentioned above may also help to ease or prevent the symptoms. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, you must visit an eye doctor. These self-care steps can help alleviate some strain on your eyes.

Remember, eyeglasses are not always necessary to remedy or cure all forms of eye strain and CVS. However, if your eyes constantly feel fatigued, it may be a sign that you need to see a doctor and get corrective eyewear. Schedule an eye exam if you experience constant eye strain which is long overdue. Although there is evidence that blue light glasses can help prevent screen time from affecting your sleep, they are unlikely to completely relieve digital eye strain symptoms.The good news is that computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, is not a permanent damage to the eyes. The symptoms should go away after a break from your device.

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