What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Nowadays, many people have jobs that require them to use a computer for several hours at a time. Prolonged use of digital screens can put a lot of strain on the eyes. Digital eyestrain refers to a group of vision and eye problems, including red, dry, and itchy eyes.

When you stare at a computer screen for prolonged periods, your eyes may feel uncomfortable and tired. Also, you may find it difficult to focus normally. Using smartphones, tablets, and e-readers may also cause these symptoms.

The frequency of vision and eye problems has been increasing over the past few decades. Most people who frequently use a digital device or computer experience certain symptoms some of the time. Furthermore, these symptoms are common in kids as well.


Definition of Computer Vision Syndrome

Also known as computer eyestrain or digital eyestrain, computer vision syndrome is a common condition that causes specific eye and vision problems. Experiencing digital eyestrain does not mean that you need to stop using digital devices. You need to understand that the way you look at a digital screen can make a huge difference.


Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome


  • Eyestrain.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Eye fatigue.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Double vision.
  • Tearing, red, or itchy eyes.
  • Shoulder pain.
  • Neck pain.

To focus, your eyes need to work harder when staring at a digital screen. This is because the text on a screen is less sharp than words on a printed page. Furthermore, digital screens tend to have glare, making it difficult for your eyes to focus. If you stare at a digital screen for just two hours in a row, you are likely to develop digital eyestrain.


Other Risk Factors for Computer Vision Syndrome

Other factors that can cause you to experience digital eyestrain include:

  • Poor posture while sitting in front of a computer.
  • Looking at digital screens daily.
  • Incorrect viewing angle or distance.
  • Poor lighting.
  • Using incorrect prescription eyeglasses.
  • A reflection or glare on a digital screen.
  • Uncorrected vision problems.


How to Ease Computer Vision Syndrome

You may be able to prevent or reduce eyestrain by using digital screens properly. For instance, you should position your computer screen between 20 and 28 inches from your eyes. Positioning it too close can increase your risk of experiencing eyestrain.

You should also place the screen about four to five inches below eye level and tilt it back about 10 to 20 degrees. This will prevent you from having to tilt your neck downward or upward to view the screen. You should also make the images and text on your screen easier to read and more visible. You can do this by increasing the font size, brightness, and contrast on your device.

Other ways to prevent or ease digital eyestrain include blinking frequently, reducing screen glare, and using the right prescription eyeglasses. It is also important to take regular breaks from your digital device.


When to Call an Eye Doctor

If you follow the tips above, digital eyestrain should be less of an issue. It may even go away. But if you continue to experience symptoms of computer vision syndrome or if they get worse, you need to visit an eye doctor. You should also see an eye doctor if you experience eye flashes, sudden vision changes, unexplained eye redness, or pain that persists.

To learn more about computer vision syndrome, visit Bernstein Center for Visual Performance at our office in White Plains, New York. You can call (914) 682-8886 today to schedule an appointment.

9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 12:30pm 9:00am - 5:30pm 9:00am - 12:30pm Closed Closed optometrist # # # https://goo.gl/maps/zEfF4ikZ6ydTJ5QEA 1133 Westchester Avenue, Suite N008 White Plains NY 10605