Computer Vision Syndrome: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Eyes

How much time do you spend looking at a screen each day? We live in a digital world, and many people spend hours and hours in front of a computer or looking at a cell phone, television, tablet, and more. As a result, the prevalence of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is increasing. The time spent with your eyes focused on these devices could have an impact on your eyesight.

Computer Vision Syndrome: Common Symptoms

Pay attention to your vision, and you might notice a few common symptoms that indicate you are spending too much time in front of a screen. These are some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Blurred Vision
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Eye Fatigue
  • Dry Eyes
  • Eye Twitching
  • Double Vision
  • Red Eyes

You might experience multiple symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the amount of time that you spend at the computer and how long you have been suffering from this syndrome.

Why a Screen is Different from Printed Material

Is there a difference between reading a book and looking at a screen? When your eyes are focused on printed materials, the characters are dense and have edges that are well-defined. On the other hand, characters on a computer screen, phone, or tablet are made using pixels. As a result, these digital characters don’t have the same contrast or definition. Even if the pixilation is hard to detect with the naked eye, it can increase the strain on your eyes.

Other factors make the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome worse. You need to consider the environment where you are using the screen. Here are a few things to evaluate that will impact your CVS symptoms:

  • Viewing distance from the screen
  • Glare on the screen
  • Lighting in the room
  • Ergonomics while sitting at the computer
  • Posture

If you have a combination of these factors, then the symptoms will worsen. Additionally, uncorrected vision problems can have an impact on your screen viewing as well.

What Should You Do About CVS?

Sometimes, looking at a screen is unavoidable. For example, you can’t avoid the computer screen if you spend 8 hours a day at a desk for work. If you are noticing symptoms, then it is important to talk to a Chicago optometrist for personal recommendations.

Be proactive to improve your screen viewing by following these tips:

  • Decrease the time spent in front of a screen
  • Sit the proper distance away from the screen, depending on the size of the screen
  • Manage the glare in the room
  • Turn up the lighting in the room
  • Ensure proper posture and ergonomics at the computer
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule (as described below)

The 20-20-20 rule is a guideline that helps with the management of how often you take a break from looking at the screen. It is important that you look away from the screen every 20 minutes. During this break, focus your eyes on an area that is more than 20 feet away. Finally, the break should be a minimum of 20 seconds.

Talk to a Chicago Optometrist

Are you experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome? Then it is time to talk to an optometrist about your symptoms. Call us or book an appointment online. Contact West Loop Eye Care today to schedule an appointment.