Computer Vision Syndrome, or digital eye strain, is a relatively new term within the optometry field. This syndrome refers to eye problems that are associated with the prolonged use of computers and electronics with digital screens. Although it can be temporary, there are also cases when computer vision can strain the eyes to a degree that permanently affects your vision.
Computer Vision Syndrome occurs in response to the glare and contrast of digital screens as well as the fact that your eyes move constantly as your focus shifts on these screens. Additionally, we don’t blink as much as usual when focusing on digital devices, which further increases our discomfort. Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:
- Dryness, watering, itching or burning eyes
- Hard time keeping eyes open
- Difficulty concentrating
- Head, neck and shoulder pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Existing eye conditions can worsen as your eyes try to focus and adjust to a computer screen and precautions should be taken if you spend long hours in front of one. For example, some patients with astigmatism will feel completely normal until they get in front of a computer, at which point the strain makes their astigmatism symptoms more apparent.
Most people don’t realize how hard their eyes have to work when using a computer screen. Simple changes, such as proper lighting and posture, can make a big difference. These preventive measures may sound obvious but are frequently overlooked.
If you have been experiencing blurry vision, dry eyes, eye strain, headaches, neck or back pain, try adjusting the lighting, posture, and the distance in front of your computer screen.
Adjusting your screen resolution, brightness and contrast can instantly ease tension on your eyes. Taking frequent breaks to relax your eyes by focusing on items at a distance will help relieve tension from long hours in front of the computer as well. There are also glasses designed specifically for working on the computer that can help to provide relief from digital eye strain.
If you find yourself suffering from digital eye strain (as many Americans do!), call us today to schedule an appointment! Our doctors can discuss the best method in treating your digital eye strain so computer vision does not become an ongoing issue. Computer vision syndrome is quite common so don’t hesitate to take the proper steps to improve your vision today!