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Computer Vision Syndrome

Staring at computer screens, tablets, smart phones and other devices for hours on end has now become common place in our culture. All that time in front of computers can put a significant strain on your eyes. The name for this problem is called computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is a general term for a variety of eye strain and pain experienced by people using computers. About 50% to 90% of computer users have symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

How can computer screens affect vision

CVS can be related to carpal tunnel syndrome in that eye strain is caused by the eyes repeating the same movement over and over again. Computer screens are more difficult to read than paper because of glare, screen contrast and multiple font sizes. If you are typing from a paper document your eye muscles must constantly adjust as you go back and forth from paper to screen.

The young are more at risk than adults

The young are more at risk to develop long term problems relating to CVS than adults because younger eye muscles are still developing. The constant repetitive eye movement can lead to near-sightedness. When viewing a computer screen peripheral vision is not perfectly focused so the eyes grow lager to adjust. This can lead to near-sightedness. The constant contractions of eye muscles while looking at computer screens can cause the eyeball to become elongated which can also cause near-sightedness. Because the eyes of the young are still developing some of these problems can become permanent. Computer users over the age of 30 have less risk because their eyes are fully developed.

What are the symptoms of CVS?

The symptoms of computer vision syndrome can vary from person to person and include; blurry vision, double vision, dizziness, red eyes, headaches and trouble focus the eyes when looking away from the screen. Anyone that uses computers or other electronic devices for more than two hours a day is at risk for CVS.

What can I do to relive CVS?

The good news is that there are several things you can do to relive the effects of computer vision syndrome. The first is to look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and focus your eyes on a fixed point 20 feet away. Make sure you blink a lot while doing this to moisten your eyes. Make sure you cut the glare on your computer screen by closing blinds, angling your screen away from windows and adjusting the brightness and contrast settings of your monitor. Cupping your hands over handheld devices can cut glare on your small screens making it easier to focus your eyes.

It is essential to get regular eye exams from an eye care professional regardless if you have these symptoms or not. Remember Healthy Eyes are part of a Healthy life.

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