Guide to Computer Eye Strain Symptoms

Does staring at a computer monitor or digital screen make your eyes fatigued or strained? It’s possible you are suffering from a common ailment called computer eye strain. Read about how you can check for some common symptoms and practical prevention and treatment methods.

These days, almost everyone spends hours with their eyes fixed on a screen of some sort. At work or home, you probably spend a good deal of time in front of your computer, and no doubt you’ve experienced eye strain after looking at your monitor for some time. This strain is typically referred to as Computer eye strain. But what exactly causes this strain, and how can you fix it?

What is computer eye strain?

Computer eye strain (also known as Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain) is caused by glare from overhead lighting and windows in the environment around your computer monitor.

Eye doctors get 10 million visits every year for CVS-related problems

Overhead fluorescent lights are one of the leading causes of computer eye strain. The glare caused by these light fixtures cause your eyes to tire quickly, which can lead to visual fatigue, headaches, and even migraines.

If you spend 2 hours per day in front of a computer, you have a 90% chance of developing CVS

Most office workers today suffer from computer eye strain on a regular basis. When monitors are positioned too close to outside windows and/or under overhead fluorescent lights, workers tend to feel the effects after a few hours.

Workers in Western countries spend 1548 hours per year using a computer

Symptoms of computer eye strain

  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Redness, Irritation or dryness
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye irritation


  • Itching or burning in the eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Back pain
  • General fatigue
  • Arm, wrist and/or shoulder pain
  • Tearing

Eye Fatigue 65%
Eye Strain 49%
Headaches 46%
Neck / Shoulder Pain 44%
Irritation Of Eyes 38%
Itching / Burning Of Eyes 34%
Back Pain 34%
Blurry vision 30%
General Fatigue 26%
Tension 25%
Arm / Wrist / Shoulder Pain 25%
Tearing 14%


Without proper vision correction, worker productivity can decrease by as much as 20%

How to prevent computer eye strain

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent computer eye strain:

  • Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and stare at an object 20 feet away.
  • Position your monitor so your head is in a natural, comfortable position. Generally, this is more than 25 inches from the eye, and 6 inches below eye level.
  • Make sure you maintain good sitting posture, with support for your lower back.
  • Put blinds or shades over nearby windows.
  • Blink frequently.

The top solution for preventing computer eye strain

The best way to combat computer eye strain is to install fluorescent light filters to cover the overhead lights. These work by preventing the harsh glare from overhead fluorescent lights from reflecting off your computer screen.

Helping to prevent eye strain not only lessens visual fatigue and headaches. It also increases productivity by allowing computer users to stay at their desk longer without experiencing the troubling symptoms of eye strain. These filters remove 100% of the glare caused by fluorescent lights, and alleviate any computer eye strain problems related to reflected overhead lighting.

If getting a light filter isn’t possible, consider moving your desk away from the light source or switching to the other side of your desk to reduce glare. Re-positioning your desk might be the last resort, but it’s better than having to suffer eye strain every day.

1 thought on “Guide to Computer Eye Strain Symptoms”

  1. Mari, great post!

    I think you should cover more the part of fluorescent light filters installation by companies. We spend a lot of time in front of our computers every day and I can feel it after work.

    Just an idea for writing: Do fluorescent light filters improve employees performance?

    Should you go for it, I’d like to read it 🙂

    Btw, your source is not working. Don’t worry though – you can still find the original statistics here, including some tips for digital eye strain 🙂


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