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Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Computer glasses

Updated on April 1, 2012

If you use a computer regularly you may have experienced symptoms that include blurred vision, difficulty focusing, eye strain or eye fatigue, headaches, sensitive to light, dry eyes, or even pain in your neck, shoulders and back. This variety of problems, associated with computer use, is known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, more than 70 million U.S. workers use a computer and more than 88 percent of them complain of computer related eyestrain.

Sometimes, simply rearranging your work environment to create better ergonomics is all you may need to do to reduce eye strain and other vision problems related to CVS. In some cases, a good pair of computer eyeglasses may help you see better at just the right distance range needed for viewing a computer screen. Using advanced computer glasses recommended by your eye doctor will help you deal with CVS.

CVS Computer glasses
CVS Computer glasses

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)?

Although individuals of all ages can experience the symptoms mentioned above, middle-aged and older people are most likely to suffer from computer related eyestrain and blurred vision. When people reach the age of 40 and older, their eyes naturally lose their ability to focus. As their eyes try to overcome this loss, they are more likely to experience fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, sensitivity to glare, dry eyes and physical discomfort.

Other factors that cause CVS include poor lighting in the work place resulting in glare and reflections, improper monitor positioning and screen size/settings, improper physical posture and wearing an incorrect and inadquate eyeglass prescription.

Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Treatment for CVS should address all aspects of an individual's work environment. The computer screen should be positioned and adjusted to minimize reflections and glare. Replacing cool white fluorescent lighting with warm white or deluxe warm bulbs can improve comfort by reducing glare. Getting up and away from your computer to stretch every 1-2 hours will help your muscles relax.

Wearing the proper vision correction designed for viewing a computer will allow the eyes to focus more comfortably for a longer period. You should look away from the computer for 10-15 seconds every 10 minutes to allow your eye muscles to relax. Specialty lens treatments such as anti-reflection or anti-glare coatings and light tints can also improve visual comfort and performance while working on a computer. Don't forget to blink regularly and use artificial tears if your eyes feel dry.

Advanced computer glasses for CVS

Computer eyeglasses will make the screen clearer because they will eliminate the constant refocusing effort that your eyes go through when viewing the screen. It has also been proven clinically that having the correct prescription in computer eyeglasses increases productivity and accuracy.

Although you may currently have glasses that work adequately for driving or reading small print, it is likely that they are not adequate for computer work. Why? Distance vision glasses provide optimum vision beyond 20 feet. Reading glasses correct near vision only, while bifocals correct distance and near vision. Even lenses that do include a prescription for the intermediate or mid-range zone such as trifocals and progressives, have only a very small area for intermediate viewing. As a result most individuals experience frustration trying to find the best part of their lenses to focus through.

Fortunately, there is a new class of enhanced computer lenses specifically designed to provide excellent near and mid-range vision without the limitations found with regular reading glasses, bifocals or progressive lenses. These new lenses are great for the office environment or any hobbies or activities that require close and mid-range vision.

Consult with your eye care practitioner to decide what lenses are right for you. Check with your insurance company to see if your coverage includes computer glasses.

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      Andrew 7 years ago

      I suffer from really bad "CVS" and have to work in your typical modern office environments. When in such florescent environments I get blood shot, sore eyes and severe headaches, I see the room flickering. I have 20/20 vision outside florescent environments, and have no trouble focusing. Fortunately (mainly due to my position in the company) I was able to have the florescent bulbs removed above my station and a 500W floodlight installed to stop my desk from flickering from reflections from other lights. A few monthly later we had to change premises and I was able to sit by the window (for natural daylight) and have incandescent bulbs installed above my stayion. Changing my 60Hz flat screen for a 85H CRT also made a big difference (Occupational Health explained how 50Hz lighting comes into phase far more frequently with 60Hz screens than 85Hz screens).

      The problem is that with single phase florescent light installations all the bulbs flash in sync. I've since worked in offices with 3 phase florescent installations with my 85Hz screen, without any problem.