Understanding Computer Vision Syndrome

Does your work entail sitting in front of a computer for several hours? Then you must frequently experience eyestrain, blurring of vision and headaches. Oftentimes, these symptoms are accompanied by dryness of the eyes as well as painful neck and shoulders. All of these things happen because of what’s known as computer vision syndrome (CVS).

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Also referred to as digital eye strain, CVS consists of various symptoms brought about by prolonged computer use. Despite of what it’s called, computer vision syndrome may also be associated with extended usage of any other gadget with a digital screen such as an e-book reader, a cellular phone and pocket gaming console, and not just a computer. The degree of symptoms experienced tends to worsen the longer you use a computer or a similar device.

Viewing a computer or digital screen is entirely different from looking at a printed material. That’s because the letters on a computer or a related device are not as clearly defined as those on a newspaper, hardcopy of a report, page of a book, etc. Also contributing to the matter are the likes of light reflections on the digital screen.

Symptoms of CVS

It’s not unlikely for you to see double the minute CVS strikes. It is often accompanied by blurring of vision and headaches. You may also experience dry, red eyes. Especially if your posture is improper while seated before a computer, your neck and shoulders may ache.

There are many different things that may have an impact on the severity of the symptoms mentioned above, according to the experts. As earlier said, improper posture may contribute to computer vision syndrome. Using a chair that is not specifically designed for computer use may be a role player too. Glare present on the digital screen, improper distances from the device and poor lighting may also bring about the carious symptoms of CVS.

CVS Risk Factors

Your risk of experiencing CVS is higher if you tend to use a computer or any other device with a digital screen for extended periods of time. Pre-existing vision problems such as astigmatism and farsightedness may also put you at higher risk.

Another risk factor is age. As the person grows older, the lens of his or her eyes tends to become less flexible, thus making it harder for the eyes to properly focus on anything that is displayed on a computer or a similar gadget.

Diagnosing CVS

In order to determine the probable reasons behind the various symptoms experienced, the patient’s history is obtained. This allows the doctor to determine any problem with the general health and the medications taken that may be contributing to the problem. Environmental factors such as the use of a computer or any other similar device are also determined.

A doctor may also test the eyes and vision in order to determine how well the various structures of the eyes work together. Through an examination, any vision problem that contributes to computer vision syndrome like astigmatism and farsightedness may be identified.

CVS Treatment

There are different treatments available for CVS, depending on the root cause of the problem. For instance, someone whose work involves using a computer for several hours may be prescribed with specially designed lenses, such as those with tints and/or coatings that help provide visual comfort while a person is using a computer.

If you have computer vision syndrome, it’s not unlikely for your doctor to prescribe lubricating eye drops to help deal with eye dryness and irritation, both of which are common CVS symptoms. The lubricating eye drops that may be recommended for regular administration should not be confused with those that are used for contact lenses.

Proper eye care is important if you have computer vision syndrome. For instance, you should rest your eyes for a few minutes every 2 hours of being in front of a computer. Blinking frequently helps ward off eye dryness. It’s also important to use anti-glare filters and have the computer screen properly positioned.

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