It’s known as computer eye strain, digital eye strain, and computer vision syndrome. No matter what you call it, it’s a growing problem. The National Institutes of Health estimate that computer vision syndrome or CVS affects 60 million people in America. DeCarlo Eye Center in Wauwatosa, WI, lists the facts about computer vision syndrome.

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computers, tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices are wonderful, but our eyes just cannot handle staring at them for hours every day. This long amount of time looking at a screen causes a variety of eye problems placed under the label of computer vision syndrome.

What Are the Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

Common symptoms of computer vision syndrome include eye pain, eyes being more tired than usual, blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches, and pain that goes down the neck and into the shoulders. Other reported symptoms include double vision, red eyes, itchy eyes, and teary eyes. Many of these symptoms are reduced when you get off the computer or other digital device.

It’s important not to self-diagnose computer vision syndrome. Many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions like migraines, dry eye syndrome, and cataracts. Make sure you see an ophthalmologist to recieve a correct diagnosis. This way, you can get the correct treatment.

Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome

Fortunately, there are many treatments for CVS for those who have to work long hours in front of a digital screen. Blue-light glasses may be prescribed. Special tints or coatings on your glasses or contacts may also be prescribed. An anti-glare screen and more lighting in your computer room can also help ease your eyes’ workload. Try enlarging the font of your computer for easier reading. Some people benefit from vision training exercises.

The 20-20-20 Rule

The American Optometric Association recommends following the 20-20-20 rule to prevent computer vision syndrome. It’s important to take breaks for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This means looking away from the screen at something at least 20 feet away.

Other Steps to Take

People prone to dry eyes may benefit from using artificial tears at least four times a day, and the use of a portable humidifier to keep the air moist. Many people also get relief when they can look down at a screen instead of up. When using reference materials to make a report or other paper, keep the reference material at the same distance as the computer screen.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about computer vision syndrome and live in Wauwatosa, WI, contact DeCarlo Eye Center at (414) 476-5120 to make an appointment today.