No one can deny that the information age has brought us amazing innovations and technology. Computers have evolved from gigantic desktop workstations to cordless laptops, tablets, and mini devices like the cellphone. The accessibility of computers, coupled with the structure of the modern workday equates to hours and hours behind a screen. 31 percent of those over 18 admit that, on average, they spend at least five hours a day on a computer, tablet or smartphone. All of this screentime takes a toll on your eyes. According to the American Optometric Association, it is estimated that somewhere between 50-90 percent of computer and device users experience Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). What is it and how can you prevent it? Read on to find out.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
CVS comes with symptoms such as decreased or blurred vision, burning or stinging eyes, sensitivity to light, dry eyes, headaches, and pain in the shoulder, back and/or neck. CVS does not refer to one specific eye condition, but rather a whole range of pain and eye strain reported by computer users. It can strike both young and old--anyone that is logging significant screen time. The good news is, there are options to help you treat and prevent CVS. Specialty eyewear is just one way you can take a proactive role with your eye health. Our Denver Peepers Optical team, is here to help answer any questions you may have as you learn more about CVS and the options for treatment and prevention.
How Does A Computer Screen Affect Your Vision?
Computer Vision Syndrome is similar to other repetitive stress injuries at work. It develops from repeating the same motion time and time again. Like other repetitive stress injuries, CVS can get worse the longer you participate in the activity. Working at a computer requires the muscles of the eyes to work overtime. They have to repeatedly focus side to side, up and down, and align with what you are seeing. They also have to make adjustments for screen contrast, glare and lighting. Images on the screen are constantly changing requiring the eyes to constantly adapt to the messages they see in order to send accurate information to your brain.
It is also important to note that CVS is more likely to occur if you have pre-existing eye conditions such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. And watch out as you approach the age of 40 when your ability to focus on near and far objects begins to decline (presbyopia).
Preventing CVS with Specialty Glasses
One of the innovations created to help prevent computer vision syndrome are prescription glasses designed to be worn when working on a computer. These glasses allow your eyes to focus on a computer screen that is further away than normal reading distance. Computer glasses are not the same as regular glasses. Traditional glasses do not correct the intermediate zone of vision. Even contact lens wearers may need to consider using glasses over their contacts for computer work. With appropriate glasses you can see improvements in blurred vision and associated problems that occur when the eye repeatedly struggles to focus such as: headaches, eyestrain, burning, or eye fatigue.
If you are not wearing computer glasses, you may fall victim to pain and injuries that result from bending your body forward or tipping your head to compensate for blurred vision. These simple actions repeated throughout your workday can produce soreness in your neck, shoulders and/or back.
The type of computer glasses you select will depend on several different factors such as:
- Visual ability
- Personal preferences
- Distance between you and your monitor
Call for a Consultation
You can take a proactive role in reducing your symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, or preventing symptoms from occurring, by scheduling an eye exam with one of our optometrists with our Denver Peepers Optical staff to discuss your eye health. Our team of specialists are dedicated to ensuring your issues are diagnosed properly and in a short amount of time. Visit our Denver Optical today, we are located near Belcaro, Cherry Creek and Glendale.