According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) more than 70 percent of employed persons that work daily on a computer (around 143 million ) suffer the affects of computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue. Prolonged computer use can result in eye fatigue and effect eyesight in children as well as adults. If you spend more than two hours on a daily basis at a computer screen you are likely to experience some level of computer related eye fatigue.
Effects of Computer Induced Eye Fatigue
Lengthy computer use may result in many of the usual signs of computer eye strain including:
Blurred or Double Vision
- Pain in Neck, Back or Head
- Loss of Focus
- Dry, Burning or Tired Eyes
What Are The Causes of CVS?
Computer eye fatigue and CVS result from the necessity for our visual processing pathways to compensate for processing letters on an electronic screen differently than they do for printed characters. Although our eyes are used to focusing on printed material that contains solid black letters with sharp borders, they are less familiar with texts on a computer screen that lack the same level of clarity and sharpness.
Characters on a screen are formed by pixels, which are brightest at the middle and lower in brightness toward the edges. Consequently, it is more difficult for our eyes to maintain focus on this text. Instead, our eyes feel more comfortable at the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily adjust to the RPA and then strain to regain focus on the screen. The continuous strain on the muscles of the eyes to focus results in the fatigue and eye strain that sometimes are present with extended use of a computer or digital device. CVS isn't just a concern for those who spend a lot of time on computers. Other electronic gadgets such as smart phones or iPads can result in the same conditions that can be in some cases more severe. Since mobile screens are often small in addition to pixilated the user often strains even more to stay focused on text.
Treatment for CVS and Eye Strain
If you are at risk for computer induced eye fatigue, you should see an eye care professional sooner than later.
At a computer vision exam, your eye care professional will perform tests to detect any particular vision issues that might worsen CVS. According to the results of these tests, your doctor may recommend prescription computer glasses to reduce discomfort at your computer . You should consider an anti-reflective coating for computer eyeglasses. Such a coating lessens glare that may affect your ability to see images clearly on your computer.
Alternative Treatments for CVS
Visual Ergonomics, or setting up your work environment to reduce the need for your eyes and your body to accommodate in unhealthy ways, can help minimize some of the discomfort of computer vision syndrome. A well lit work area and frequent breaks can help to some extent. However, since ergonomics alone cannot resolve problems with vision, wearing prescription computer glasses is also necessary.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of CVS, contact our Scotts Valley, CA optometric office.