Computers & Vision

What is computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is the name for a group of eye and vision symptoms that might be experienced as a result of viewing a computer screen. These symptoms include eye strain, tired eyes, irritation, red eyes, blurred vision, double vision and headaches.

What causes computer vision syndrome?

For most of us, our eyes prefer to focus further than six meters away, so viewing a computer screen forces our eyes to work harder. Viewing a computer screen is also different from reading from printed page.  Often the type we are viewing is not as clear or we are spending many hours at our desks.  The combination of all these unique characteristics and our eyes having to work harder can often lead to difficulty.

What are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

More than one-half of computer users will experience discomfort and vision problems when using a computer for long periods.  The common symptoms include eye strain, blurred vision, dry and irritated eyes, headaches and general discomfort when viewing the screen.

These can be caused by uncorrected vision problem, improper viewing distances, poor posture, or environmental factors such as poor lighting and glare from screen.  Small levels of shortsightedness, long sightedness or astigmatism can often cause problems if uncorrected.

Who gets computer vision syndrome? 

Anyone who uses a computer, tablet or hand-held device may experience the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.  If you view a screen for excessive periods without regular breaks or have an underlying vision problem, you are most likely to experience eye and vision symptoms when using the computer.

Can computers damage my eyes?

There is no evidence that using a computer can cause damage to the eyes.  While there are theories that excessive close work and eye strain in children can increase the risk of being shortsighted, the symptoms of computer vision syndrome are temporary and can be treated by visiting your Optometrist for an eye examination.

How can my Optometrist help?

To help you see clearly, your Optometrist may suggest eye-drops, regular breaks or prescription glasses if you have an underlying vision problem.  Glasses are used to correct vision but also make a fashion statement, and come in a large range of shapes, sizes and colors.  Make an appointment today to talk to your Optometrist.

Regular eye examinations with our optometrist are the best way to ensure good vision for life.

Question

How far away from the screen should I be?

Sitting at a distance of about one arm’s length from the screen will provide the most comfortable viewing distance.