The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced that more than seven out of 10 of employed persons that work daily at a computer screen (around 143 million ) suffer the affects of computer vision syndrome or eye fatigue. Prolonged computer use can cause eye stress and effect typical vision development in children as well as adults. If you sit at a computer for more than two hours daily you are likely to suffer symptoms of computer related eye fatigue.
Symptoms of CVS
Lengthy use of the computer may lead to many of the common symptoms of computer induced eye fatigue including:
- Loss of Focus
- A Burning Sensation
- Dry, Heavy Eyes
- Double Vision
- Blurred Vision
- Pain in Neck and Shoulders
What Are The Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome?
Eye strain from excessive computer use results from the necessity for our visual systems to compensate for processing text on a digital screen in a different way than they do for printed words. While our eyes are used to focusing on printed content that contains solid black characters with distinct edges, they are not as adept with characters on a computer screen that don't have the same amount of clarity and sharpness.
Words on a screen are formed by pixels, which are brightest in the middle and lower in brightness as they move outward. Therefore it is harder for our eyes to focus on on these letters. Rather, our eyes reduce focus to the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Through involuntary movements, our eyes move to the RPA and then strain to focus on the images. The continual strain on the eye muscles to focus creates the fatigue and eye strain that often occur with extended use of a computer or digital device. Computer vision syndrome isn't a concern just for computer users. It's important to note that other handheld gadgets such as cell phones or iPads can result in similar conditions that can be in some cases even worse. Because the screens on handheld digital devices are often small in addition to pixilated the eyes have to put even more effort into focusing on the text.
Treating Computer Vision Syndrome and Eye Strain
Computer vision syndrome can be extremely draining so if you are suffering from these symptoms it is worthwhile to consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.
During a computer vision exam, the eye doctor will check to see if you have any vision problems that might worsen symptoms of computer eye strain. According to the outcome of the exam, your doctor may recommend ophthalmic computer eyeglasses to help you work more efficiently at your screen. You should strongly think about getting an anti-reflective coating for computer eyeglasses. An anti-reflective coating reduces reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and affect your ability to focus on images on your screen.
Alternative Treatments for Computer Vision Syndrome
Visual Ergonomics, or physical changes to your workstation to limit the need for your eyes and your body to strain to accommodate, can help relieve some of the discomfort of CVS. Adequate lighting and frequent breaks can help to some extent. However, since ergonomics alone cannot resolve problems with vision, wearing ophthalmic computer glasses is also necessary.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of computer vision syndrome, contact our Lake Grove, NY optometric office.