What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Although less than a few decades ago, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) was nothing short of a made up term, it has become a big part of the lives of many people in our world today. Spending long hours and days staring at a computer screen over time causes an immense strain on our eyes, which results in the symptoms of CVS.

Q: What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

A: Although the term itself is a broad one, it is used to encompass an entire range of eye strain, pain and discomfort that is so often experienced by computer users. One of the effective method of preventing computer vision syndrom is to reduce glare from overhead lighting.

With computer use being a part of our everyday lives, research has shown that it is not only a fairly common problem, but that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of computer users suffer from at least one or two symptoms of CVS and account for more than 10 million doctor visits for CVS-related problems.

What Are The Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

If you tend to spend multiple hours during multiple days of the week staring at a computer screen and are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, it is most likely related to CVS…

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry or red eyes
  • Heavy eye irritation

If you experience any of the above symptoms and do not take action to treat them, they may have a serious effect in your daily life and overall work performance.

Who is Susceptible to Computer Vision Syndrome?

Although most cases of CVS affect people who work at computers, there are several other groups of people who are susceptible to the symptoms of CVS…

  • Children and young adults who spend time on portable video games or tablets
  • People who have an existing eye problem such as nearsightedness or astigmatism
  • Adults over the age of 40 who are experiencing nearsightedness or farsightedness, also known as presbyopia condition
  • People who have been prescribed glasses but fail to use them while working on a computer

What Are The Main Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome?

As mentioned before, the main cause of CVS is repeated and constant staring at computer screens. It happens only if the same type of motion is carried out over and over again throughout the day. As with similar repetitive stress injuries, CVS can get worse the longer the activity is being drawn out.

When your eyes continuously move back and forth while aligning objects and focusing in on them, it eventually causes your eyes to become very tired and fatigued of the motions they are performing. Your brain is constantly processing in order to keep up with what your eyes are seeing on your computer screen, the papers you may be looking at on your desk or even a clock on the other side of the room.

What makes computers potentially hazardous to the eyes is the fact that they emit fluorescent light just like the lamp or the ceiling lights above you. The fluorescent lighting and the constant glare that comes along with it is unnatural and something that the body doesn’t know how to handle well, which in turn causes headaches, eye irritation, blurry vision and so on. To sum it up, the main factors that contribute and cause CVS include…

  • The constant and repetitive motion of your eyes going back and forth
  • The fluorescent lighting and glare caused by either your computer or the lights around you
  • Your brain having to keep up and process what your eyes are seeing from that fluorescent lighting

How Can Computer Vision Syndrome Be Prevented?

Although it may seem rather daunting to people who suffer from one or multiple symptoms of CVS, fortunately there are some simple, yet important, methods that can alleviate and even prevent CVS from occurring.

  • Have your eyes checked on a regular basis
  • Blink more frequently to avoid dry eyes or consider using lubricating eye drops
  • Take regular work breaks allowing your eyes to rest from staring at the computer screen
  • Clean your computer screen more often to avoid dust build up, which can cause your eyes to work harder in order to see more clearly
  • Install fluorescent light filters that will allow a complete elimination of the glare you are being exposed to from overhead lighting. This is one of the most important and most life-changing adjustments that is easily accessible for both the home and work spaces

Sources

Web MD http://www.computer-vision-syndrome.org/statistics/

CVS Systems http://www.m.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome

CVS Prevention http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/13/computer-eye-strain-explained-and-how-to-avoid-it/

Summary
What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Article Name
What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Description
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) used to sound like a made up term. In fact, optometrists have long recognized and issue with spending hours in front of a computer monitor and how lighting can exacerbate the symptoms of CVS.
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