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You Have Computer Vision Syndrome!

Updated on March 13, 2013

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Today, millions of people all over the world are affected by Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS without them realizing it. I am a full time work at home person who spends more than 10 hours a day on my PC. Although some people claim that there is no scientific evidence that computer screens are harmful to the eyes, experts believe that anyone who stares at a computer monitor for more than two hours a day is likely to experience CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome to some extent. I think I do experience it sometimes. So, if you spend more than 2 hours a day on your computer its time to have a look at your eyes.

Computer Vision Syndrome is the term used to describe a variety of vision related symptoms and CVS affects mental and physical well being and impacts productivity.

(Note To My Stumbler Friends : Too much Stumbling causes CVS!)

Double Vision
Double Vision
Dry Eye
Dry Eye
Temporary Nearsightedness or Myopia
Temporary Nearsightedness or Myopia
Photophobia Or Decreased Tolerance To Light
Photophobia Or Decreased Tolerance To Light
Eye Strain
Eye Strain
Redness And Watery Eyes
Redness And Watery Eyes
Computer Screen
Computer Screen
Lack Of Image Clarity
Lack Of Image Clarity

Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Double Vision or Diplopia

Double vision or Diplopia is the perception of two images from a single object. The images may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Although many other reasons like head injuries, intoxication from alcohol, staring too long at your computer screen may cause double vision.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome (DES) or simply dry eyes is an eye condition caused by decrease in tear production or increased tear film evaporation. If we stare at our computer screen for long periods without blinking this condition may occur.

Temporary Nearsightedness

Temporary nearsightedness or shortsightedness or myopia causes nearby objects seen clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. Ophthalmologists and optometrists usually correct myopia using corrective lenses.

Photophobia or Decreased Tolerance to Light

Photophobia or fear of light, is excessive sensitivity to light. In medical terms, it is not fear, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure. (I suffer from this sometimes)

Eye Strain

Eye strain or Asthenopia is an eye condition that manifests itself through nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache and occasional double vision. When we concentrate on a visually intense task like continuously focusing on computer screen or book.

CRT monitors with a low refresh rate less than 70 Hz can cause similar problems because of the flickering image. Aging computer screens also often go slightly out of focus, and this can also cause eye strain.

What Causes CVS Symptoms?

Computer Screen

Characters on a computer screen do not have sharp edges compared to the printed ones. The pixels are brightest at the center and decreases in intensity towards the edges. This makes it very difficult for our eyes to maintain focus. Trying to focus extensively do not allow the eye muscles to move frequently, and this leads to eye strain, burning and fatigue.

Computer users usually have a fixed posture. Gazing constantly at a computer screen from a close distance leads to convergence fatigue.

Image Clarity

Lack of image clarity often makes a computer user to stare more intensely in an effort to focus.

Glare

Glare from reflections and lights on computer screens from overhead lights or direct light coming through windows and bouncing off the screens tires the eyes.

Blink

Infrequent blinking causes the tear film in our eyes to evaporate. While a person blinks 15 times per minute, the blink rate comes down to 5 times in a minute when working on a computer because of continuosly staring at the screen. Blinking is important for spreading of tears to form an even film on the eye surface. Inadequate blinking causes the eyes to become dry and irritated.

Correct Posture
Correct Posture

What Can Be Done To Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome?

Anyone who has the symptoms or suspects of CVS should have a thorough eye check with an eye specialist. Apart from this a few precautions could reduce the risk of CVS.

Screen Distance

Ideally the monitor should be at a distance of 16-30 inches from the eyes depending on the size of your screen. Also adjust the height of the computer table or the chair, so that the middle of the screen is 15-20 degrees below eye level. Always try to use an ergonomic chair as it helps in reducing neck and back pains in users.

Avoid Air Drafts

Avoid sitting in front of a pedestal/table fan or an airconditioner facing its air draft while working on a computer.

Reducing Glare

Position your computer screen so that the windows are to the side rather than the back or front. Using glare filter screens on monitors are helpful.

Blink More

Make a conscious effort to blink more often. Try to blink every time you make a click with the mouse or every time you hit "ENTER!. Alternately you could try the suggested formula 20:20:20. That is, every 20 minutes : for 20 seconds : blink 20 times.

Use Eye Lubrication

Lubricating eye drops help to moisturize your eyes. Eyes become dry and irritated by working for long hours on the computer. Lubricating eye drops help in reducing eye strain and redness, provides soothing effect to he eyes and relieves irritation.

Take A Break
Take A Break

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Take A Break

Take a 5 minute break for every thirty munutes of work on your computer. This can reduce eye fatigue and get you refreshed.

If you experience any of the following do not hesitate to consult your ophthalmologist: for you may be a victim of Computer Vision Syndrome!

Burning eyes, double vision, eye fatigue or tiredness, blurry distance vision when looking up from the monitor, dry, tired, or sore eyes, when you need to squint to focus on the screen, neck, shoulder, or back pain, when it seems that thr letters on the screen run together,headaches during or after working at the computer, when driving or during night vision is worse after using a computer, when you see "halos" around objects on the screen, and when you need to interrupt work frequently to rest eye.

An estimated 40 percent to 70 percent of computer users suffer from dry, irritated eyes associated with Computer Vision Syndrome. The good news is that it can be treated.

Do You Have CVS?

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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very informative hub, thank-you. I linked to it within my latest hub about staying healthy as a freelance writer. Thanks for the useful information!

    • DoctorDarts profile image

      DoctorDarts 5 years ago

      Important hub; gonna pass this on to a few people I know who might have this...

    • profile image

      Peter B. 5 years ago

      For many years I had suffered from dry or red eye, irritation and many other things. Seen specialists and eye doctors. Drops and eyewash nothing seemed to work.

      So finally after some thought and info off the internet, here's what I came up with. Hot showers containing Fluoride and Chlorine have been part of the trouble. Tank water also contains harmful residues from woodsmoke and traffic emmissions.

      So simply buying a cheap filter jug with a carbon element rids the water of most detrimental things such as fluoride and chlorine along with metals such as lead, zink and copper.

      Simply boil this filtered water and let cool for a great soothing eyewash. Try not to have as many hot showers as Fluoride and chlorine can soak into the pours around the eye's.

      Many eye specialists will keep you waiting several hours simply to fob you off with a script for eyedrops then as you leave they will mug you for a high fee.

      If you use eyedrops always check them as your hair may fall out!

    • profile image

      GeeDee 5 years ago

      I'm not sure if the above answers my particular problem.

      I have my computer linked to my 37" TV which is positioned approx 8 feet from my sofa, at roughly eye level or slightly below.

      I use the computer for upwards of 8 hours per day (not always continuously) and find that, often late in the evening, I have some vertical double vision.

      This appears as a faint reddish ghost image sightly below the image being viewed, and is more noticeable when viewing areas of light against dark, ie white/light-coloured text on a dark/black background.

      The ghost image is present under lighter conditions but is less noticeable.

      Once it's begun, the double vision is present whether I'm wearing my glasses or not, and may come and go at a moment's notice.

      I feel it's more of a chromatic displacement than a true second image but that's just my own thoughts and I don't know if that's even possible.

      I did mention it to my Optician during my last check up but he spoke about "floaters" and such, which made no sense to me, and I didn't pursue it further.

      I confess, I drink too much than is good for me, but this doesn't occur during periods of intoxication so I'm tempted to rule that out as a cause.

      Does any of this make sense?

    • profile image

      andyman 5 years ago

      In the 'What Can Be Done To Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome?' section of the article, why is there no mention of what is probably the most important requirement ie. ensuring that your monitor itself is up to the job ?

      You can change a monitor's position, change your position, fiddle with the controls, avoid air drafts, and take as many breaks as you want, but there comes a point where it is no longer fit for its purpose and further use can cause vision problems for the user without the user necessarily being aware of the cause.

      I have visited many offices up and down the country in my working life and seen staff squinting at monitors which have screen pixel burn due to the fact that they have been left switched on and unattended for hours on end with no screensaver or power management to protect it. Whilst it is the responsibility of companies to protect the health of it's own workers whilst on the premises, this is something that is sometimes overlooked and it is important to mention it in an article like this so that at least users are aware of its importance.

    • profile image

      EyeConcern 5 years ago

      I hope someday they will come up with zero glare or radiation monitor. People now and tomorrow just can't live without computer. We are now tied up in computer world. Expert please come up with a solution fast to save our eye vision.

    • profile image

      jassim 5 years ago

      yes i have cvs now :p and thanks a lot i have learn about CVS only because of you!!!

      THANKS!!!!!

    • profile image

      Jessica 6 years ago

      Thank u for your verrygood advise

    • profile image

      Izuogu Amarachi 6 years ago

      Thanks for acquainting me with all the above information. As an Optometrist, I'll help in saving our generation as my ownquota in vision 2020. Thanks

    • profile image

      Nicole Monk 6 years ago

      Your lens is very informative and very useful for the readers. Thank you for the information Sun. Keep it up.

      Reading Glasses with LED Lights

    • profile image

      Faheem 6 years ago

      i spend like 4-5 on the pc aday, and im seeing double. exactly how the pic shows at the top.

    • lindajot profile image

      lindajot 6 years ago from Willamette Valley - Oregon

      Great info - I've had such issues to the extreme for the last 5 mnths - very frustrating. The photophobia is not fun. Thanks for the read!

    • profile image

      sb 6 years ago

      I am suffereing with most of the sympotoms that u have mentioned...life has become hell...i have red eyes, inability to read from monitors, blurred visions,sever headaches...

      All this started after I worked under a severe stress, with 2 tubelights on my head..and almost 13 hrs everyday on a computer..for arnd 3 months...now even after taking all precatuions it does not go away....

      \have been suffereing this way from past 2years...now have no choice but to change career...

    • profile image

      Hassana 7 years ago

      Great info - thanks for the good advice!

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

      Thank you, I found this really helpful, well-written and informative.

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 7 years ago from North Georgia

      Thanks for the at-home helpful tips for eyecare.

      Should a person use reading glasses (close-up vision lenses)

      while reading a computer screen?

    • satyam12 profile image

      satyam12 7 years ago from india

      yes u are right, the hub is very helpful, thanks for giving such useful advice

    • profile image

      Danielle 7 years ago

      Okay my eyes turn red and i get head achs, it has been bothering me for a long time, when i look at something i will see it's shadow for atleast two or more mnt's before it goes away completly if someone could send me an e-mail and tell me witch one of these symptoms i have that would be greatly appriciated

      Adress. dino_danielle@hotmail.com

      Hopefully i get a good anser that is really accurate from someone,

    • profile image

      David 7 years ago

      Great post, i know that after working with the computer for extended periods of time i start to notice some of the double vision and dry eyes. It also cannot help when working in air-conditioning as this compounds the problem.

    • intogadget profile image

      intogadget 7 years ago

      that double vision picture at the top of the post took another 5 years off my eyesite, thanks for the article, now I know what the condition is, I will continue to do nothing about it, no im jk but the tips will help me salvage some of the site i have left, thanks, ill keep an eye out for the rest of your articles

    • steelbreeze profile image

      steelbreeze 7 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Thank you so much for the information. Now I can relate to all the problems I am facing with my eyes.

    • profile image

      john warrior 7 years ago

      i don't know

      my eye sight has suffered

      and no one knows what is the matter

      i think it's the computer

      sometimes i cannot remember faces i saw just before

    • profile image

      The Ruislip Blacksmith 8 years ago

      I just wish I'd read this earlier, but at least I now know what's causing my problem. Thank you so much.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I have this problem but seeing as I depend on the PC for my paid work there's not a lot I can do about cutting down my time on it! Something else to worry about I am afraid!

    • Nolimits Nana profile image

      Nicolette Goff 8 years ago from British Columbia

      Just found your hub, thanks to the link from Jerilee today. It's information all us computer users need to know. I've been wondering why I have dry eyes - guess I know.

    • profile image

      altonguy 8 years ago

      I wish somebody would have told me this when I first bought my laptop. My eyes have been burning like crazy lately. Maybe sunglasses will help too. Thanks for the tips! I learned my lesson for sure.

    • profile image

      Nightwatcher30m 8 years ago

      I was lookin at the posts hmmm indeed - nice info - but what the heck is computer alcoholics ?????? maybe the dude meant computerholics bwahahahha

    • profile image

      vishal 8 years ago

      I am also victim of CVS but what i would like to know is, whether you are feeling better after doing all this.

    • profile image

      Abhijit 9 years ago

      I am experiecing this terribly since a year but i am not able to understand is it CVS.I I have this symmptoms even when i dnt use computer for a few day..But its terrible especially in the evening or while bending or doin any activities there is heavy headeness.Now while writing this comment i am experiencing it..

    • profile image

      Nawazkhan Ahroodkhan 9 years ago

      Hi thanks for these great explanations about eye care, I'm already a victim of CVS and I am already undergoing a treatment for removing the pain. Its of course with an ophtalmologist that I started the treatment. Guys, you've done a nice job by inserting clearly all these stuffs here. God bless you all. Keep it up. Khuda Hafiz..

      Nawazkhan Ahroodkhan

    • Carolina Crete profile image

      Carolina Crete 9 years ago from Crete, Greece

      No matter how hard I try I see the 'double vision' photo above in quadruple! Do I have a really bad case of CVS?! Thanks for the great hub.

    • profile image

      Julie 9 years ago

      Hi!

      Thanks for sending me this message. I am happy to have followed your link to read this article it is very enlightening and something I will definitely think about. I am on the computer a lot!

      Excellent Hub Page

    • Freegoddies profile image

      Freegoddies 9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the info,we should be careful while using computers.Great Hub

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great info. This really is eye opening.

    • profile image

      shemesh 9 years ago

      Thanks for the info. As usual, you have excelled.

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz 9 years ago from Antioch, TN

      Great hub, SunSeven! I work for a major .com and everyone (all 250 or so of us now) sit in front of a computer all day long. This hub is great advice. :)

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Great information, SunSeven. My eyes have been burning lately. Your hub is timely. I was just thinking I need to spend less time reading on my laptop. But there are so many good hubs I don't want to miss.

    • profile image

      markion 9 years ago from London

      wow, great information, thanfully i use a laptop; TFT screens are kinder to the eyes.

    • teeray profile image

      teeray 9 years ago from Canada

      Whoa - I am traumatized by the pictures! Some of those are spooky, eh? Then I dashed to the washroom to look in the mirror, thinkin', "Heh, no problem, 4h online surfin' hubs and typing philosophy essays doesn't affect ME...."

      Ack! there were TWO of me - which is really a problem in my little apartment! lol

      Great hub - well done.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Wow! I never really thought about this! I will admit to way too much time surfing the net. Maybe I need to relax my eyes more! Well, I know I should, but it's hard to keep entertained not on the computer. :-(

    • sukritha profile image

      sukritha 9 years ago from Cochin

      Great. As a person who spend long time infront of computer, I am really thankful to you.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      SunSeven!

      Great Info! Most of the symptoms you've described are also conditions people can get, when over-use of the eyes is part of their work. I can vouch for it, I've been working as a tailor for thirty years. I'm at the stage, with my eyes, that I only sew Black for maybe two hours at the brightest time of the day. I've had to get special glasses for close-up and computer work.

      Great HUB as usual

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thai is an excellent Hub. When I get double vision, I put on a pair of my old glasses and that eyes back onto focus. Then I rest my eyes for a good liong time.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 9 years ago

      I know I have this, and was just thinking about it last night. Great hub SunSeven!

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 9 years ago

      Excellent hub as always. I must take care not to overdo it. Thanks.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony 9 years ago from London UK

      Another excellent educational hub which has been taken on board;)

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      yep...I am going to need to break down and get glasses soon. :/

    • soyelude profile image

      soyelude 9 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

      Sunseven you have added to my knowledge base through your infotainment. Every computer nerd must be grateful.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Say two years ago I was undergoing most of what your comments are about. I have incorporated a pair of glasses just foe computer staring. Still happens

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 9 years ago from Chennai

      Great, useful hub; every hubber better listen to this!

      And thanks for the bonus picture of my favourite hubber,

      thought it's slightly out of focus!

    • Terri Paajanen profile image

      Terri Paajanen 9 years ago from someplace in Canada

      Good info. Thankfully, I'm distracted from my work every 3 minutes by my young daughter. :)