According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) more than seven out of 10 of employed persons that work for the majority of the day at a computer screen (around 143 million ) suffer the affects of computer vision syndrome or eye strain. Prolonged periods of sitting at the computer can cause eye fatigue and effect eyesight in kids and adults. Anyone that sits over 2 hours daily at computer is at risk of symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain
Symptoms of CVS include vision problems such as dry eyes, blurred vision, lack of focus or double vision and pain such as headaches, neck pain and tired eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms you may be suffering from CVS.
What Causes Computer Induced Eye Fatigue?
Eye fatigue from excessive computer use results from the necessity for our visual systems to compensate for processing text on a computer screen in a different way than they do for characters on a page. Although our eyes have little problem keeping focus on printed content that contains dense black letters with distinct edges, they are less familiar with texts on a digital screen that lack the same amount of clarity and sharpness.
Words on a computer screen are composed of pixels, which are brightest in the center and diminish in intensity as they move outward. Consequently, it is more difficult for our visual processing center to keep focus on this text. Instead, our eyes prefer to revert to a lower level of focusing called the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Through involuntary movements, our eyes adjust to the RPA and then strain to regain focus on the text. This continual flexing of the eyes' focusing muscles creates the fatigue and eye strain that sometimes are present with extended computer use. CVS isn't only a concern for those who spend a lot of time on computers. Other electronic gadgets such as mobile phones or tablets can cause the same conditions and in some cases even worse. Since the screens on handheld digital devices are often small the user often struggles even more to read text.
Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment
CVS can negatively affect your productivity so if you are experiencing discomfort it is worthwhile to consult an optometrist as soon as possible.
At an exam, your optometrist will perform tests to detect any vision issues that might worsen computer vision syndrome. According to the outcome of the exam, your doctor may prescribe ophthalmic computer eyeglasses to reduce discomfort at your computer . An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer eyeglasses. Such a coating lessens reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and affect your ability to focus on images on your screen.
Ergonomics for Computer Vision Syndrome
Visual Ergonomics, or setting up your computer workstation to reduce strains in vision or posture, can help relieve some of the discomfort of CVS. Adequate lighting and taking periodic breaks from staring at the screen will help to some extent. Nevertheless, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.
If you would like to consult with a professional eye doctor to speak about the risks and symptoms for computer vision syndrome, contact our Boynton Beach, FL optometric office.