The American Optometric Association states that above seven out of 10 of workers that work every day from a computer screen (over 140 million ) suffer from computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue. Excessive computer use can cause eye stress and effect eyesight in kids and adults. Anyone that sits over two hours on a daily basis on the computer is at risk of symptoms of computer related eye fatigue.
Signs of Computer Eye Strain
Prolonged computer use can lead to some if not all of the signs of computer vision syndrome including:
- Burning Eyes
- Dry, Heavy Eyes
- Double Vision
- Blurry Sight
- Pain in Neck and Shoulders
What Causes CVS?
Eye strain from computer use is caused by the necessity for our visual systems to adapt to processing words on a computer screen in a different way than they do for words in print. Although our eyes have little problem keeping focus on printed content that has solid black letters with clear borders, they are not as adept with texts on a computer screen that don't have the same amount of contrast and sharpness.
Characters on a computer screen are composed of pixels, which are brightest at the middle and diminish in intensity toward the edges. This makes it more difficult for our visual processing center to focus on on these characters. Rather, our eyes prefer to drift to a lower level of focusing called the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily revert to the RPA and then strain to focus on the screen. This continuous flexing of the eyes' focusing muscles results in the symptoms listed above that often are present during and after use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't a concern just for those who spend a lot of time on computers. It's important to note that other electronic gadgets such as mobile phones or tablets can cause similar eye fatigue that can be in some cases more severe. Because handheld screens are smaller the eyes have to put even more exertion into focusing on the images.
Treating CVS and Eye Fatigue
CVS can negatively affect your productivity so if you are experiencing these symptoms it is worthwhile to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
During an exam, the eye care professional will perform tests to detect any vision problems that could contribute to CVS. According to the results of the exam, your optometrist may prescribe ophthalmic computer glasses to reduce discomfort at your screen. You should strongly think about getting an anti-reflective coating for computer eyeglasses. Such a coating lessens reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and interfere with your ability to see images clearly on your screen.
Alternative Treatments for CVS
Ergonomics, or changing your computer work environment to reduce strains in vision or posture, can help reduce some of the discomfort of computer vision syndrome. A well lit work area and frequent breaks can help to some extent. However, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.
If you would like to consult with a professional optometrist to discuss the risks and treatments for computer related eye strain, contact our eye doctor in Manasquan, NJ.