Understanding and Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome

Technology advancement has led to exponential use of digital devices.

Further there was an increase in the use of digital devices during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), which hugely impacted the eyes, leading to ocular strain, chronic backache, shoulder, and neck pain, in many.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

It’s a chronic stress injury due to prolonged use of digital devices that overuse near vision, resulting in a complex ocular and visual problems. It is also known as Asthenopia, Visual Fatigue, Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS), or more recently Digital Eye Strain (DES).

What are the Risk Factors Associated with Computer Vision Syndrome?

  • Duration of computer or digital device usage is directly proportional to eye symptoms.
  • Height and inclination of the monitor should be at eye level leading to strain on the eye and neck.
  • Distance of the Visual display terminals(devices) (VDT): the closer the VDT to the eyes there is more strain on the eyes.
  • Glare and reflections on the Visual display terminals(devices) (VDT) lead to strin. Its best to have glare filters on the VDT
  • Continuously looking at the screen without any breaks can lead to CVS.

What are the Symptoms?

  1. Accommodative or asthenopic symptoms: Eye strain, Tired eyes, Sore eyes, Dry eyes
  2. Ocular surface-related symptoms: Watery eyes, Irritation, Contact lens problems
  3. Visual problems: Blurred vision, Poor focusing change, Double vision, Presbyopia
  4. Extraocular symptoms: Neck pain, Back pain, Shoulder pain

Why is Computer Vision Syndrome Risky?

Although there is no evidence of CVS causing permanent damage to eyesight, it can lead to headache, double vision, neck pain, and eye fatigue. Ignorance of CVS may lead to less/decreased working capability and reduced productivity. CVS is treatable and corrected.

How to Diagnose Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is diagnosed through validated questionnaires and objective assessment of the blink per minute or the ability of the eye to refocus to near and distant objects.

Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome

CVS treatmentrequires a multidirectional approach. It requires ocular therapy as well as adjustment to the user’s workstation.

  • Computer positioning.
  • Work breaks.
  • Artificial tears.
  • Computer spectacles: Occupational progressive lenses are now designed to have a large area on the top half of the lens for mid-distance viewing (arm’s length viewing) and the bottom half for near viewing (for the keyboard).

How Can You Prevent CVS?

  • Position the screen 4 to 9 inches below eye level.
  • Monitor should be atleast 30 inches away from the eyes.
  • Limit glare by positioning lamps so that light is not reflected on the screen.
  • Eyes should be checked regularly, for change in number.
  • Frequent breaks is advisable. Maintain the 20:20:20 rule, i.e., every 20 min, focus on an object that is 20 ft away, for 20 seconds.
  • Try to keep air vents away from the face so that they do not dry the eyes.
  • Keep the screen clean .

In case you need any assistance related to computer vision syndrome, get in touch with us.

M.M Joshi Eye Institute is open 24/7 and has experts who can attend to all eye-related problems. Please walk into any of our branches for regular eye examinations, and any eye related problems.