What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

man rubbing eyes in front of computer

Computer vision syndrome is associated with many symptoms.

CVS, or computer vision syndrome, seems to affect just about everyone these days. From endless hours in front of a computer screen, to excessive amounts of text messaging on your smart phone, many people experience a range of problems from blurry eyesight to itchy eyes.

Computer vision syndrome is a name assigned to a variety of problems associated with spending long hours in front of a digital device such as a TV screen or tablet computing device. Red eyes, dry eyes, burning eyes and blurry vision are just a few problems associated with this syndrome. More serious problems associated with the condition include headaches, fatigue and double vision which can even lead to occasional dizziness.

Some companies are marketing products that supposedly offer relief to people experiencing CVS. Artificial tears may give temporary relief during the day, while products meant to be worn over the eyes at night, may give a more permanent solution if used daily.

Overhead fluorescent lighting and the breeze from an air conditioning vent can further aggravate the problem. Dry eyes are a result of not blinking the eyes often enough. We have a tendency to over focus and stare intently at our computer screens and end up not blinking as much as we do when performing other activities.

Breaking the Computer Vision Syndrome Cycle

women in front of computer using eye drops

Eye drops may provide relief to anyone with CVS.

Take occasional breaks from the computer screen during the day to help provide some relief from work-related eye strain. Either close your eyes for 20 seconds a couple of times each hour or try the 20-20-20 method. Every twenty minutes try focusing your eyes on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a brief break from the hyper focus of looking at your computer screen all day long.

If you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while, it’s advisable to see a Doctor of Optometry or Ophthalmologist for a routine eye exam. Eye doctors can decide if you have vision problems that need correction with a pair of prescription lenses or if your eyesight issues are simply a result of fatigue and overuse.

If you are still having problems when working in front of a computer and your eye doctor has ruled out any serious vision problems, you may want to try a pair of readers. Reading eyeglasses are available without a prescription in +1.00+ to +3.50 power. They are simply magnifying glasses and are found at most chain drug stores and big box retail stores.