Computer Vision Syndrome

According to The Vision Council, a current survey of more than 10,000 adults discovered that 65 percent of Americans experience digital eye strain symptoms – such as dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye tiredness and headaches – when using a computer, smartphone and other digital devices.

And eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS) don’t take place just in adults. Millions of children operate at a computer every day, either at home or in school. Prolonged computer use can stress a child’s eyes and may affect normal vision development.

What Are the Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

If you or your child spend more than two hours per day in front of a computer screen, it’s likely you will experience some degree of computer vision syndrome. Symptoms of CVS consist of:

  • Burning eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Double vision
  • Eye twitching
  • Headaches
  • Loss of focus
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome are brought on by our eyes and brain reacting in a different way to characters on a computer screen than they do to printed characters. Our eyes have little problem concentrating on printed material that has dense black characters with well-defined edges. But characters on a computer screen do not have the exact same degree of contrast and definition.

Words and images on a computer screen are created by combinations of small points of light (pixels), which are brightest at the center and diminish in intensity towards their edges. This makes it more difficult for our eyes to maintain focus on them. Rather, our eyes wish to drift to a lowered level of focusing called the “resting point of accommodation” or RPA.

Computer Vision Syndrome And Computer Glasses

Our eyes involuntarily transfer to the RPA and then strain to restore focus on the screen. This constant flexing of the eyes’ focusing muscles produces the fatigue and eye strain that typically take place during and after computer use.

How Avoid Computer Vision Syndrome?

To reduce your risk of computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome, see an eye doctor or ophthalmologist who specializes in computer vision care.

During a computer vision test, your optometrist will carry out tests to detect any vision problems that may add to CVS. Depending on the outcome of the examination, your doctor may prescribe computer spectacles to help you work more comfortably at your computer.

In addition to increasing comfort during computer use, current studies have actually shown that computer eyeglasses can increase computer employee performance, with cost savings to companies who supply the eyeglasses.

Will Glare Screens Prevent CVS?

Anti-glare filters for computer screens might increase convenience somewhat, however they will not solve all your computer vision issues. These filters just reduce glare from reflections on the computer screen and do not lower the visual issues connected to the continuous refocusing of your eyes when you work at a computer.

In order to reduce computer-related eye strain effectively, you may need computer glasses to assist your eyes focus on your screen more easily. Also, anti-reflective coating is extremely suggested for computer glasses. Anti-reflective (AR) coating lowers reflections on the front and back surfaces of eyeglass lenses that cause glare and disrupt your ability to concentrate on images on your screen.

Will Computer Eyeglasses Make the Screen Clearer?

Yes, because computer glasses eliminate the continuous refocusing effort that your eyes go through when seeing the screen.

Likewise, medical research studies have actually shown that having the appropriate prescription in computer glasses increases performance and accuracy.

Do Computer Eyeglasses Look Like Safety Glasses?

No. Nearly any design of frame can be used for computer glasses.

What Kinds of Lenses Are Prescribed for Computer Glasses?

The best kind of lenses for computer glasses usually depends upon your age. If you are in your 40s or older, it’s likely you have some degree of presbyopia. If so, multifocal lenses will typically be your best option because they provide better depth of focus than single vision lenses. This will let you see your computer screen clearly and also see items that are more detailed and further away than your screen.

Single vision lenses also are a good solution for computer glasses, though your depth of focus will be more minimal with these lenses if you are presbyopic. Your eye doctor will assist you choose whether multifocal or single vision lenses are the best solution for your workplace and your visual needs.

What About Tints for Computer Lenses?

If you work in a brilliantly lit office, it may be a good idea to have a mild tint added to the lenses of your computer glasses.

Gently tinted lenses will lower the quantity of light entering your eyes to more comfy levels and may help reduce eye strain.

But know that tints alone don’t attend to the underlying reason for computer eye strain, which is focusing fatigue.

Does Every Computer User Need Computer Glasses?

With research studies suggesting that the majority of computer users experience some level of eye discomfort from computer work, it’s reasonable to say that many people who work on a computer more than a couple hours daily could benefit from computer eyewear.

If you experience exhausted eyes, total tiredness or pain when working at your computer, schedule a computer vision examination. Your optometrist can assist you decide if computer spectacles are right for you.

If I Don’t Have Symptoms of CVS, Do I Still Need Computer Eyewear?

Perhaps. According to a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, even computer users who are not experiencing computer vision syndrome symptoms may take advantage of computer glasses.

The research study discovered that computer workers without any visual complaints typically experience reduced productivity and accuracy at the computer. So even if you don’t observe eye strain or other symptoms of CVS, it’s a smart idea to obtain an eye examination from a computer vision professional if you invest a good quantity of time every day in front of a computer.

Will My Reading Glasses Work at the Computer?

Reading glasses normally are not the best solution for computer use.

Eyeglasses recommended for checking out usually will optimize your vision at a distance of 14 to 16 inches from your eyes, which is thought about the basic reading distance. However for the greatest comfort, your computer screen must be positioned farther away– at a range of 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. For the best vision at this distance, a different glasses prescription is typically needed.

Does Computer Vision Syndrome Affect Worker Productivity?

Yes, research has revealed that this is true. Even in cases when a computer employee’s vision correction is just somewhat off, efficiency and precision at the computer can still suffer.

And as the day progresses, these losses increase. Using your eyes to see a computer for lots of hours a day is comparable to your eye muscles being forced to do push-ups for hours and hours. Over time, muscle tiredness will significantly impact efficiency, precision and comfort. Computer glasses can minimize eye fatigue and enhance performance.

Isn’t Ergonomics the Solution to Computer Eye Strain?

Ergonomics is necessary– altering your computer workstation to help with good posture can certainly help reduce some physical symptoms of CVS. But ergonomics alone can not solve a visual issue. Wearing prescription computer spectacles typically is more helpful than ergonomics for minimizing the risk of computer eye strain.

Will Wearing Computer Eyeglasses Make My Eyes Worse?

No. In fact, using specially recommended computer glasses when operating at your computer may assist keep your eyes from worsening by minimizing excessive focusing needs on your eyes. This is especially true for teens, whose eyes may be more vulnerable to progressive nearsightedness from focusing tiredness.

Updated: May 30, 2017 — 4:25 am

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