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computer vision syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome: Do I Have It? How Can I Cure It?

Computer vision syndrome is no laughing matter. As many as 50% of computer users suffer from the syndrome. Pain can be debilitating, decreasing someone’s quality of life and making it hard to work. 

You can fall victim to the syndrome at any moment. Thankfully, you can take steps to reduce your symptoms and have better vision. The first step is to inform yourself about what you may experience.

What is computer vision syndrome, and where does it come from? How do doctors diagnose cases of the syndrome? What can you do to receive computer vision treatment?

Answer these questions and you can come free of computer vision syndrome in no time. Here is your quick guide.

Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) can have many different symptoms. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms in the same ways, but most people experience the majority or all signs of CVS.

Most people experience eye pain or eye strain. The pain may feel like a muscle strain, or it may feel stabbing or dull. Some people also experience fatigued eyes, which can cause their eyes to close.

At the same time, they experience a headache. The ache can occur anywhere in their head, though pain can radiate out from behind their eyes. Looking away from a computer screen can relieve the pain, but the pain can start again once someone turns to the computer screen.

Pain can radiate into the neck or back. Someone’s pain can feel dull or aching, similar to a muscle strain.

The average computer user blinks 3.6 times per minute, compared to the normal average of 18 times. This can cause the eyes to become dry. The eyes may become red or bloodshot as well.

Someone’s vision can become blurry, even after they rest their eyes. They may develop double vision, seeing two images of the same object. 

Keep in mind that many of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome are not specific to the syndrome. An infection in your eye can also cause pain, blurry vision, and itching. 

Causes and Risk Factors

Your eyes work hard when you are looking at a computer screen. The bright light makes your eyes shift around. As you read text, your eyes move back and forth across the screen, straining the muscles behind your eyes. 

If you’re watching a video or GIF, your eyes are also moving to keep track of all of the elements on the screen. Flashing colors can add glare that makes it hard to focus and creates blurriness. 

The longer you spend at a computer, the more likely you are to develop CVS. You are at higher risk if you sit close to your computer or are looking at the screen at an acute angle.

Older people or people with pre-existing vision problems are also at higher risk. Wearing glasses may make CVS worse because many glasses do not adjust to computer screens. Your eyes may strain even more in order to see through your lenses properly.

Diagnosis

Because the symptoms of CVS overlap with other conditions, doctors cannot diagnose CVS based on symptoms alone. Your doctor may ask you questions about how your pain is and where your pain comes from. If your pain occurs after extensive computer use, you may have CVS. 

In order to eliminate other causes, your doctor may ask you to submit to an eye and vision exam. They will check your sharpness and coordination to make sure you can move your eyes correctly.

They may use devices to look at the backs of your eyes, but they will not be invasive. You can get a diagnosis of CVS at the end of a doctor’s visit.

Treatment Options

You can receive computer vision syndrome treatment in a few ways. You should rest your eyes once every 20 minutes. Turn away from your computer and look at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. 

You should go on a break of 15 minutes every two hours. During this time, you can do paperwork, go to meetings, or take a coffee break. 

Put your computer screen on a stand so the center of it is within four to five inches of your eye level. You should also place the screen back so it is an arm’s length away from you. If you have a laptop, you can put your computer on a stack of books or folders to achieve this. 

You can prevent straining your neck and back by fixing the height of your chair. Raise it up so your feet rest on your floor at shoulder width. 

When you have dry eyes, you can put in eye drops. You can also try blinking more often to keep moisture in your eyes. 

You can adjust the brightness on your computer to reduce glare, but you shouldn’t make your screen too dark. If there is still a glare that hurts your eyes, you can put a glare filter over your monitor. You can also turn on an overhead light so there is less of a contrast between your screen and your surroundings. 

You do not have to take medication or get surgery in order to cure CVS. You can take a pill to increase tear production in your eyes, but only if other measures don’t work.

The Essentials of Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome is a rising medical problem. It can create extreme pain, difficulty seeing, and dry eyes. These symptoms may make it hard to work at a computer.

Your computer screen creates a significant glare and forces your eyes to move around rapidly. You may also strain muscles by leaning forward.

However, a doctor can diagnose you with CVS once they run a complete vision test. Resting your eyes and adjusting your computer screen may be enough to reduce your problems. 

Don’t let CVS wear you down. EZ Optical serves the Houston area. Contact us today.

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