Computer Vision Syndrome

October 4, 2010

Take frequent breaks from computer-use to help avoid CVS.

Eye Problems Caused by the Gadgets We Can’t Live Without

The world of work and play revolves around electronic devices such as the desktop, Smartphone and tablet PC.  According to the American Medical News, 57.7% of United States adults owned two or more computers in 2009. The magazine further states that there has been a marked increase in cases of patients complaining about eye pain and dryness over the past 10 to 15 years.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition caused by focus of the eyes on computers or other similar display-screens for lengthy, uninterrupted intervals of time.

Symptoms of CVS:

  • Headaches and neck pain which can result from poor posture and necessity to keep the body prone for extended periods
  • Dry and irritated eyes, a condition which is worse when accompanied by poor lighting or air conditioning blowing air directly across the eyes and decreasing humidity
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye strain
  • For people in their 30s to 40s, computer-viewing can lead to an early diagnosis of Presbyopia, which is a condition where the eyes have an increasingly difficult time focusing on near objects
  • Diplopia (a defect of vision where one object is seen as a multiple)

Looking at electronic screens is different from reading print materials because print materials are typically higher in contrast. Consider the newspaper, which is normally black ink on a light gray background. For electronic screen content, the eye deals with lower contrast, which requires more optical focus and, therefore, more effort.

Children need to take special precautions to prevent frequent eye strain caused by excessive use of computers as well as video games. Since their eyes are still growing, they frequent breaks in order to avoid strain.

Tips on Preventing CVS:

  • Blinking – Facebook posts and fourth-quarter sales forecasts can be so enthralling that people can actually forget to blink.
  • The 20-20-20 rule – Take a break every 20 minutes. Focus on an area about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to give your eyes a rest.
  • Screen Angle-for reduced neck strain, don’t position your monitor so you have to look up to see the screen. Your computer should be placed four to six inches below your line-of-sight for optimum alignment.
  • Eye Drops – Use artificial tears to replace lost moisture from lack of blinking and dry office air

While CVS is not an eye disease that requires surgery, it does adversely affect many. Care should be taken to make sure eyes are rested and properly cared for to decrease the risk of vision problems.

Located in Riverside, California, the office of Dr. Sandra Akamine Davidson is a full-service practice with seven staff members and two doctors of optometry. Along with Dr. Leanna M. Parisi, Dr. Davidson provides complete eye care, including: eye examinations, LASIK consultations, retinal photography and low vision evaluations. We also feature the latest in lenses and frames including the popular Transitions lenses and high-end frame designs such as Prada, D&G, and Ray-Ban. Schedule your appointment at the office where Eye Focus on You.

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