Computer Vision Syndrome: Things to Know

Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 by Dr. Thomas Marvelli

Computer Vision Syndrome

Many of us spend most of the day in front of a computer monitor, working hard at our daily jobs while enjoying all the capabilities that technology allows us to accomplish directly from our desks. After a couple of hours staring at a monitor it is common to experience eye irritation, blurred vision, and even itching and redness.  All of these symptoms can be signs of Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. 

Signs and Symptoms

An estimated 10 million people will see an eye doctor this year due to Computer Vision Syndrome. In addition to eye irritation, itching, redness, and blurred vision individuals also report experiencing neck and back aches along with muscle fatigue. These signs and symptoms are all associated with Computer Vision Syndrome. While irritating and uncomfortable, CVS will not cause permanent damage to the eyes; however, this condition can affect your comfort and performance at work or home. People that spend more than two hours in front of the computer each day are 90 percent more likely to develop CVS.

Treatment and Prevention of CVS

An estimated 71 percent of people that suffer from CVS wear some sort of prescription contacts or glasses and are also more likely to suffer from muscle fatigue, back or neck pain. Your eye doctor may recommend wearing special glasses while using the computer or to tweak your prescription. Your doctor may also prescribe special eye drops that are made specifically for contacts. Adjusting the lighting in your work space may also make it easier to manage CVS. Excess light can worsen eye strain, so individuals can eliminate outside light with curtains or using fewer light bulbs. Using proper lighting will help reduce eye strain.

If you are experiencing dry eyes, talk to your eye doctor about using artificial tears or eye drops to reduce the discomfort. Taking frequent breaks while working will also help manage CVS and will help prevent neck and back strain. As a bonus, studies have shown that workers who take frequent breaks are often more productive than those who take fewer breaks throughout the day. If you are unable to take frequent breaks, looking away from the computer every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds will help prevent eye fatigue by relaxing the muscles of the eye.

For many individuals that work at computers for the majority of their day, Computer Vision Syndrome can generate discomfort and vision problems if not treated. Begin with subtle adjustments throughout your work day if you suffer from any of the CVS symptoms. Taking breaks, looking away from the screen and improving work space lighting can help reduce many of the symptoms of CVS. If you continue to experience CVS symptoms, contact your eye doctor to find out if there are any other alternatives to deal with more serious symptoms such as eye fatigue, dryness and irritation.

If you’re experiencing any signs or symptoms of CVS, contact us today for an appointment! Dr. Marvelli is one of the most most trusted eye doctors in the greater Fort Worth area.

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