Health & Diet

Everything You Should Know About Computer Vision Syndrome

Day 194, Project 365 - 5.5.10Photo by William Brawley

The increase in technology has made our lives infinitely easier and more enjoyable. However, this trend comes with some very serious side effects. Computer vision syndrome is, unfortunately, consequence of tech boom.

From working on computers to watching TV to staring at our smartphones – computer vision syndrome is something that people who use digital devices should be aware of. Computer vision syndrome is a group of vision and eye related issues which arise from viewing digital devices for long period of time.

CVS can arise from sitting in front of your computer for too long as easily as from staring at a television for hours on end. The prevalence of computers in homes and at work led to the recognition of CVS, hence the name. Computer vision syndrome manifests itself in many different ways for different lengths of time. It actually depends on the situation and the person. Symptoms can range from eye discomfort to more serious vision problems which can have long-term consequences.

The more you use smartphones and computers, the worse the CVS symptoms get. In case of many people, these computer vision syndrome symptoms are just temporary and subside shortly after stepping away from the smartphone or computer. However, CVS can also last for longer periods of time. CVS gets worse with time as the symptoms recur and worsen, if the syndrome is left untreated. Computer vision syndrome is caused by prolonged use of a device with digital screen.

This is because digital screens make the eyes work harder in order to overcome reflections, rapid graphic changes, unclear fonts, glare, bright colors, contrast, etc. The longer you look at digital screen, the higher the risk for computer vision syndrome. There are many causes of CVS, such as poor lighting, improper viewing distances, uncorrected vision problems, glare on the computer screen, poor seating posture, and not blinking enough.

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One of the most common symptoms of CVS is eye irritation, such as redness and itching. Some people can also experience blurred vision. In addition, it is common for people with CVS to experience back aches, neck aches and muscle fatigue. Although these symptoms are bothersome, they don’t cause permanent damage to the eyes. According to a study, 70% of people with CVS wear glasses or contacts. People who wear contacts or glasses are more likely to suffer from neck or back pain.

An eye specialist can make some adjustments in your prescription and also recommend that you wear special glasses while you are using a smartphone or a computer. In case you are wearing contacts, an eye doctor can prescribe eye drops which are made for contacts. There are several changes which you can make in your daily routine that will make it easier for you to prevent or manage computer vision syndrome.

You should use proper lighting when you are working at the computer, since excess bright light can worsen eye strain. By closing the drapes and curtains you can eliminate outside light. In addition, you can also reduce the interior light by using fewer light bulbs. It is also important that you take frequent breaks while you’re working at the computer. Small breaks prevent CVS, and also help prevent back and neck strain.


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