You've likely experienced discomfort in your eyes after using a digital device for a prolonged period. Often, this discomfort changes with the level of brightness while using your digital devices.
This is referred to as digital eye strain or computer vision Syndrome.
Computer vision syndrome is discomfort or strain of the eyes that is caused by exposure to digital devices for a prolonged period.
If you are concerned that you have been exposed to your digital device for extended periods and may be suffering from CVS, this article will help you understand what is computer Vision Syndrome and how you can manage it.
1. How Are Digital Devices Linked to Eye Problems?
It's likely that your digital device or computer is always close to your eyes. When your eyes maintain focus on a digital device for an extended uninterrupted amount of time, the eye muscles begin straining.
When looking at your computer or digital device, your eyes keep focusing and refocusing constantly. You move them back and forth as you read or write from left to right. The eyes also react constantly to the scrolling effect, popups, and flashing photos. In addition, the computer adds flicker, glare, and contrast.
All this work requires a lot of effort from your eye muscles.
As if that’s not enough
Computer and digital device use cause you to blink less. In the end, your eyes are strained and dry, and this results in eventual blurring of visionand CVS.
CVS is a strain injury that happens repetitively, and while it primarily affects your vision, your physical health may also be affected. It also involves the neck and head and is particularly associated with digital devices that emit specific frequencies of blue light.
Blue light from digital devices causes your eyes to work harder at focusing.
And that’s not all…
The letters and objects displayed on digital devices are not as well defined as on printed pages.
The contrast of the letters with the background is also reduced, and the viewing angles are different. There are also other factors, such as distance, reflection, and glare. All these factors reduce vision while you are on your screen and result in straining.
Focusing on bright objects that are too small, reading on a small screen, or repetitively reading content from left to right results in digital eye strain
2. How Common is Computer vision syndrome?
CVS is a common problem affecting many people today. A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthindicated that 90% of people who spend more than three hours a day on computers suffer from digital eye strain
On average, most people in the United States spend about 6-8 hours on digital screens, and this has, by far, made CVS a common problem.
3. Symptoms of CVS
Several factors contribute to the strain that your eyes experience while using your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Some of these factors include your head angle, lighting, distance from the screen, screen glare, and your seating posture. Other vision-related problems that you may already have can also be a part of the reason why your eyes are straining while working with your computer.
Digital eye strain shows up in several or any of the following ways
• Dry eyes, sometimes red
• Blurred vision
• Problems falling asleep
• Double vision
• Neck and shoulder pain
4. How to Diagnose Computer Vision Syndrome?
A comprehensive examination of your eyes will help in diagnosing computer vision syndrome. Testing should emphasize on your visual requirements. Your optometrist may Assess your current condition of vision through visual acuity measurements
• Identify the appropriate eyeglasses prescriptions that will help to take care of any refractive errors you may be experiencing
• Assess your history to identify symptoms that you may be experiencing and any other general health issues that could be contributing to CVS related symptoms
• Find other problems that prevent your eyes from focusing or seeing at the same time
• Test how your eyes work together, focus, and move when attempting to view an image. Your ophthalmologist may also check how your eyes change focus, along with other problems that make it hard for your eyes to see together.
However, you will likely be diagnosed with CVS if your visual abilities are not capable of handling the visual demands of your computer or screen.
5. Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Help Prevent CVS?
Blue light blocking glasses are protective eyewear that helps reduce the adverse problems caused by blue light. The human eye is not well suited to block blue light rays.
These glasses are made to reduce glare from a screen and increase your ability to see your screen. They originated from blue light screen filters, and they make it easier for you to look at a screen for prolonged periods without straining your vision.
6. Treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome
Your eye clinic will recommend several treatment plans that involve both a clinical remedy and changing your work environment.
When suffering from CVS, you may realize that if you wear glasses, they do not give you optimal vision when using a computer. Similarly, you may be given glasses that help specifically with computer use.
Your doctor may also recommend eye therapy if your eye focusing and coordination cannot be corrected using contact lenses. Vision therapy, which is also called eye therapy trains the brains and the eyes to work together.
Computer/ Screen Viewing
There is a recommended sitting posture you can follow to remedy digital eye strain. Some factors in helping you reduce CVS have to do with your computer viewing arrangement.
Reduce the glare
The lighting around you is vital to reduce the effects of your computer or digital device to your eyes. You could go for a switch that dims your overhead lights if they cause your eyes to strain.
Additionally, use shades to cover windows that cast a glare on your screen. A glare filter on your monitor can also help in reducing computer glare.
Reorganize your working space
It’s recommended that you have your computer screen slightly below your eye level. The screen should also be about 28 inches from your face. Reorganize your workstation to account for these recommendations.
To reduce looking up and down from a reference paper to the screen, create a stand right next to the monitor where you can place your printed material for easy viewing.
Give your eyes a break: The 20-20-20 rule
Take your eyes off the screen for 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away from your face for about 20 seconds.
In addition, ensure that you make long, deliberate blinks to keep your eyes moist. You could also use eye drops if your eyes feel too dry.
Change your device settings
Your device doesn’t have to always be on its factory default settings. Try adjusting the brightness, font size, and contrast to find what suits you most comfortably.
7. Risks Related to Untreated CVS
Most of the CVS symptoms you experience may be temporary, and they often go away several hours after you stop using your computer or other screens. However, if the problems that cause eye strains are not resolved, your visual acuity may be affected and may continue even after you stop working on the screen.
8. Protect your Eyes by Ordering the ANRRI Blue Light Blocking Glasses
One of the best ways of protecting your eyes from Computer Vision Syndrome is by investing in high-quality blue light blocking glasses.
At ANRRI, we sell high-quality blue light eyewear that is capable of reducing blue light by 90%, therefore, protecting your eyes from CVS.