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What To Do When You Have Computer Vision Syndrome

computer vision syndromeHas your head been hurting lately? Are you fatigued more often than usual? Do you work on the computer a lot? You might be suffering from computer vision syndrome, otherwise called CVS. Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition, often temporary, resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device like an ipad or smartphone for extended, uninterrupted periods of time.

With the advent of iPhones, tablets and these other “smart” devices, we are more connected to each other and information than ever before. Unfortunately, there is also tremendous stress put on our eyes in this new world that we live in. Our eyes are constantly being pushed to their limits. Add to it those who work in front of a computer for a living, you are guaranteed to experience CVS at some point in your lifetime.

How does CVS impact you? Words and images on a computer screen are created by pixels, which are tiny lights that are the brightest at the center, diminishing towards the edges. These pixels make it difficult to maintain focus on them for lengthy periods of time, producing such problematic symptoms that may include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, watery, burning or red eyes
  • Blurred vision or trouble focusing
  • Neck and shoulder pain

There are several scenarios that could cause CVS based on your home life or workplace setting. Causes of CVS may include:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Low-resolution screen or glare
  • Poor posture
  • Uncomfortable seating
  • Improper distance viewing
  • Incorrect document positioning
  • Not taking vision breaks

Studies have shown that if you spend more than two hours a day in front of a computer screen, you have a 90 percent chance of developing CVS symptoms in your lifetime. In today’s technology-driven world, a majority of people are at risk. The threat of CVS does not simply stop when you clock out at work; people then go home and stare at a TV screen or play games on their devices to unwind. Even when we crawl in bed, many of us lie there scrolling endlessly through social media or watch countless Netflix episodes on our bright screens. Our eyes are tired! They need rest too.

In so many ways, we focus on our overall health but neglect to think about resting our eyes. This summer, adults and children need to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Give the phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices and your eyes a break and do something fun in the sun. Go on a hike, go for a swim or just have an actual conversation with a friend over dinner. Your body, mind, and eyes will thank you for it later.

Back at work on Monday? Here are some tips to help reduce the pain and severity of CVS symptoms. Prescription eyeglasses can help reduce eyestrain, and resting your eyes using our 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow your eyes to refocus. Also, after two hours of continuous computer use, you should give your eyes 15 minutes of rest. However, these physical relief points may not be enough to help ease the affects of CVS.

It’s important to seek a professional diagnosis to rule out any unknown vision issues. Occasionally an underlying vision problem goes undiagnosed because symptoms are misdiagnosed as CVS. There are some vision deficiencies that may mimic CVS as well as contribute to it.

Do you think you may have CVS? Contact us today at 618-288-1489 for more information. Vision for Life’s goal is to relieve any symptoms you may have, while helping to improve your quality of life. You can visit us online at or you can also find us on Facebook.