Findings from the American Optometric Association indicate that above 70 percent of workers that sit every day at a computer (over 140 million individuals) suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye strain. Excessive computer use can result in eye stress and effect eyesight in kids and adults. Anyone that sits more than 2 hours on a daily basis at computer is at risk of suffering from symptoms of CVS.
Effects of CVS
Lengthy use of the computer can result in many of the usual signs of computer eye strain for instance:
- Blurred or Double Vision
- Neck and Shoulder Pain, Headaches
- Difficulty Focusing
- Dry, Burning and Tired Eyes
Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome
Eye fatigue from computer use is caused by the necessity for our eyes and brain to compensate for viewing words on a digital screen differently than they do for letters in print. While our eyes are used to keeping focus on printed content that has dense black font with well-defined borders, they have more difficulty with texts on a computer screen that lack the same degree of clarity and definition.
Letters on a screen are composed of combinations of tiny points of light (pixels), which are most luminous in the middle and diminish in intensity toward the edges. This makes it harder for our visual processing center to keep focus on these images. Rather, our eyes reduce focus to the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily revert to the resting point of accommodation and then have to make a great effort to regain focus on the images. Such continual flexing of the eyes' focusing muscles results in the symptoms listed above that commonly appear with extended use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't only an issue for computer users. It's important to note that other digital gadgets such as smart phones or iPads can result in the same eye fatigue and in some cases even worse. Since mobile screens are smaller in addition to pixilated the user often struggles even more to focus on text.
Remedies for Computer Vision Syndrome and Eye Strain
CVS can be extremely draining so if you are suffering from discomfort it is worthwhile to consult an eye doctor sooner than later.
At a computer vision exam, the optometrist will check to see if you have any vision issues that might contribute to symptoms of computer eye strain. Depending on the outcome of these tests, your optometrist may recommend ophthalmic computer glasses to reduce discomfort at your computer screen. An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer glasses. An anti-reflective coating eliminates glare that may interfere with your ability to see images clearly on your screen.
Alternative Treatments for CVS
Visual Ergonomics, or physical changes to your computer work environment to limit strains in vision or posture, can help relieve some of the discomfort of computer related eye strain. Proper lighting and frequent breaks will help to some extent. Nevertheless, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.
If you would like to consult with a professional eye doctor to speak about the signs and treatments for computer vision syndrome, contact our Fayetteville, NC optometric office.