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What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

December 16th, 2015 / WiseVision / Comments

Beware of Computer Vision SyndromToday’s world is a digital world. Most people will look at some kind of screen every day, whether it be a computer, TV, smartphone, or tablet. In fact, many people will probably spend time looking at each of those screens on a daily basis. With the increase in the time and frequency that people look at digital screens each day have come new kinds of vision problems. Optometrists have seen more and more patients complaining of similar symptoms, and have discovered that many are caused by long periods of looking at a computer screen. This is called computer vision syndrome (CVC), or digital eye strain. In pursuing the best eye vision care, it is a good idea to know what symptoms are associated with CVC.


Common symptoms of digital eye strain, or CVC, are headaches, blurred vision, shoulder and neck pain, dry eyes, and eye strain. Many of these symptoms can be associated with other eye problems or illnesses. If, however, these symptoms are experienced in conjunction with extended periods of time being spent looking at digital screens, then it may be attributed to CVC.


Why would staring at a digital screen for long periods cause these kinds of symptoms? Several different factors are probably at play. The lighting may be poor, seating position uncomfortable, and undiagnosed eye problems may be aggravated by staring at a screen for a long time. Unlike the printed page, words and pictures on digital devices are often not as clearly defined. This can cause the eyes to strain to properly distinguish letters and images. The viewing distance may also make a difference. Because computers and TVs are often fixed in place, it can mean that an optimal viewing distance to reduce eye strain is difficult to achieve.

How to Avoid CVC

Symptoms will often disappear after computer or digital screen use has stopped. Limiting the use of digital devices or breaking up extended periods of digital screen use with frequent short breaks can help to keep symptoms from beginning or getting worse. It is also important to diagnose and treat any underlying vision problems that may not have been discovered. So, if discomfort or symptoms continue, a local eye doctor should be contacted.

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