Findings from the American Optometric Association indicate that over 70 percent of the American citizens that sit every day on a computer (close to 143 million ) suffer from computer vision syndrome or eye fatigue. Excessive periods of sitting in front of the computer can cause eye fatigue and impact normal vision processes in children and adults. If you spend more than two hours daily sitting at a computer screen it is very possible that you will suffer symptoms of computer related eye fatigue.
Symptoms of Computer Induced Eye Fatigue
Signs of CVS include vision difficulties such as dry eyes, blurred vision, lack of focus or double vision and muscular discomfort such as headaches, neck aches and heavy eyes. If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms you may be suffering from CVS.
What Causes Computer Induced Eye Fatigue?
Computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome are caused by the necessity for our visual systems to compensate for viewing words on an electronic screen in a different way than they do for letters on a page. Although our eyes have little problem focusing on printed content that has solid black font with clear edges, they have more difficulty with texts on a digital screen that don't have the same amount of clarity and definition.
Words on a screen are formed by pixels, which are most luminous in the center and lower in brightness as they move outward. Therefore it is harder for our visual processing center to maintain focus on this text. Rather, our eyes feel more comfortable at the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily move to the resting point of accommodation and then strain to regain focus on the screen. The constant strain on the eye muscles to focus creates the fatigue and eye strain that sometimes are present during and after use of a computer or digital device. CVS isn't just a concern for computer users. Other handheld gadgets such as cell phones or tablets can result in the same eye fatigue and in some cases more severe. Because handheld screens are smaller the eyes have to put even more exertion into focusing on the images.
Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment
Computer vision syndrome can be extremely draining so if you are suffering from these symptoms it is worthwhile to consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.
During an exam, your optometrist will check to see if you have any vision problems that might contribute to CVS. According to the results of the exam, your doctor may suggest ophthalmic computer eyeglasses to help you work more efficiently at your computer screen. Additionally, you should strongly consider an anti-reflective coating for computer glasses. An anti-reflective coating eliminates reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and interfere with your ability to see images clearly on your screen.
Alternative Treatments for Computer Vision Syndrome
Ergonomics, or physical changes to your computer workstation to limit strains in vision or posture, can help minimize some of the discomfort of CVS. A well lit work area and frequent breaks will help to some extent. However, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of computer vision syndrome, contact our Virginia Beach, VA optometry practice.