Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a series of symptoms related to extended periods of computer usage. CVS symptoms may include headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, double vision, and dry or irritated eyes. Any computer user can develop CVS. Your vision, your computer, and the environment where you use your computer are all factors that can lead to CVS. Although it is no cause for panic, measures can be taken to relieve symptoms of CVS.
- Have your vision checked annually, seeing clearly and comfortably helps reduce your chance of experiencing CVS.
- Ask your Optometrist if you would benefit from computer-specific eyewear. There are now lens technology options designed specifically for computer use.
- Give your eyes a break. We recommend the 20/20/20 rule; every 20 minutes, look 20ft away for 20 seconds. This will minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation caused by improper blinking.
- Practice good ergonomics when using a computer. The top of the screen should be at eye level or slightly below.
- Check lighting to avoid glare on the computer screen. If you are able to see reflections of windows or light sources on the screen, adjust the angle of the screen or use a glare filter. Look for the AOA Seal of Acceptance when purchasing a glare reduction filter.
- If possible, adjust the type of lighting in the room. If you have the option, use a halogen or LED light rather than a fluorescent light that flickers.
In this age of technology our eyes are exposed to considerably more blue light than they would be in the natural world. In addition to disrupting our sleep rhythms and causing eye strain, research is showing excessive exposure to blue light may be harmful for your vision long term. There are two options for reducing blue light exposure; 1.) wearing protective lenses and 2.) adjusting your devices to reduce blue light emission. The best protection would be a combination of these two options.
If you wear glasses, ask about a BluTech lens or treatment. If you do not currently wear glasses, BluTech lenses are available with no Rx, which many people choose to wear during times of heavy computer use. In addition to limiting blue light exposure, BluTech lenses also help with night vision (the same way a yellow filter increases contrast on a camera lens). See www.blutechlenses.com for more information on this lens option.
If you or your family are not likely to wear glasses, you can also find protection by adjusting the blue light emission on your electronic devices. There are various software applications for doing this, so you may need to evaluate which is most compatible with your device. For more information visit f.lux.