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


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.

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