Simple Steps to Combat Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

July 29, 2014

Do you find yourself staring at a computer screen or other electronic device for more than 2 hours each day? The recent increase in technology and the introduction of portable electronic devices and computers has given us multiple ways to access information and interact with each other easily and more efficiently than ever before. But all of the net surfing, reading, texting, blogging, and game playing may be playing a huge role in causing excessive eye strain and affecting your overall eye health. This problem is known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), or digital eye strain.

While working on these gadgets may be an expectation of your work or part of your relaxation, CVS is a strain forced upon the eyes when they are required to remain focused on a screen for a significant amount of time. Although CVS is generally temporary and usually goes away on its own, there are things that can be done to decrease the chances of struggling with the side effects such as headaches, blurred vision, eyestrain, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Each of these CVS symptoms may be caused from poor lighting, glare, small font of text, and improper posture.

With a few simple practices, you can reduce or prevent the effects of CVS:

• Position the computer screen or electronic device so that your head and neck are in a comfortable position while working.

• Posture is everything. Be certain that you have correct/good posture if working for an extended period of time.

• Be certain that your chair is comfortable and supports not only your neck but your back as well. Often times, a chair with armrests is beneficial as the armrests help to prop your shoulders and avoid shoulder strain, poor posture, and excessive head tilt.

• Take breaks to stretch your arms and back. This also gives your eyes a break from the glare of the screen.

• Check the lighting in the room. Make sure you are not staring into a glare on the screen.

According to statistics from the American Optometric Association, there are more than 10 million visits each year to eye care professionals for Computer Vision Syndrome related problems. Because of this, worker productivity can decrease by as much as 20% if proper vision correction is not obtained. If you spend more than 2 hours daily in front of a computer, you have a 90% chance of developing CVS. While eyestrain is typically the first complaint optometrists and ophthalmologists hear from their patients, there may be many other signs and symptoms related to this syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome can be diagnosed through your eye care professional with a thorough eye examination to see how the eye works and responds at a computer screen distance. Specially designed computer glasses as well as computer ergonomics can decrease your risk of CVS. Getting the correct prescription for your work with computers and other devices depends on the distance between your eyes and the screen. An accurate prescription is usually all that is needed to correct the problem, but yet it is still important to have an eye examination regularly to determine if there are other factors associated with symptoms of headaches or blurred vision.

If you are experiencing symptoms that you feel may be related to Computer Vision Syndrome, contact an eye care specialist today to keep your eyes healthy and looking great.

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