Studies by the American Optometric Association suggest that well over 70% of the people who are required to work on a computer all day are suffering from computer vision syndrome. Viewing text and images on a computer screen require more effort to decipher, and this additional effort leads to increased eye strain.
The pixels used to create images on a computer are brightest in the center and reduce in intensity as they near the edge of the screen. In order to take in an entire image, or a page filled with words, your eyes are required to adjust several times a minute to the varying levels of light. Your eyes are not designed to adjust to varying levels of light so frequently, and as such, strain, tension, and exhaustion are all natural consequences of the eye’s constant adjusting.
Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms
Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:
Burning or tired eyes
Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
These symptoms may be caused by other vision problem as well, but if you spend over two hours a day on your computer, it is likely that the additional strain is either responsible, or helping to accelerate your condition.
Regular visits to an experienced ophthalmologist can identify computer vision syndrome in its early stages, and help ensure permanent damage is not done.
Ways to Reduce and Treat Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome can be reduced when using a computer in your home or office by:
Reducing the glare of overhead lighting and outside light
Purchasing an anti-glare screen for your computer
Increasing the resolution on your computer screen
Improving your sitting posture to reduce strain on your back and neck
Frequent breaks from the computer and simple eye exercises can also help relieve some of the strain. One easy eye exercise is:
Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
In some cases, computer vision syndrome will require professional treatment. Your doctor may recommend eye drops to combat dry, burning eyes, or change your glasses prescription, taking into account the amount of time you spend on a computer. Additionally, anti-glare coating can be added to most prescriptions to further help reduce strain.