Computer visin syndrome and digital eye strain


Computer Vision Syndrome and Digital Fatigue


People who spend more than two hours on a computer each day may experience symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome - also called Visual Fatigue because it is actually not restricted to computer use but crops up in other contexts as well.  However, with society's ever increasing use of computers, smart phones, tablets and other screen-based media devices, screen time is mostly responsible for the condition.


People who suffer from visual fatigue and CVS can experience greater comfort with expertly designed computer eye glasses or from treatments that address related issues like dry eye..


Symptoms of computer vision syndrome


The most common symptoms of CVS are the following:


  • headaches
  • focusing difficulties
  • burning eyes
  • tired eyes
  • general eyestrain
  • aching eyes
  • dry eyes
  • double vision
  • blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • neck and shoulder pain


Once an eye doctor accurately diagnoses CVS, the next step is to specially design computer eyeglasses for the patient's particular needs that will allow him or her to work comfortably and productively at a computer.


Our doctors are experts at providing specially designed computer eye wear that makes it easier to work at a computer, use your smart phone or have fun on your iPad of kindle.  And that adds up to a better life - because, lets face it, more and more of our lives are lived on a screen. 


Computer Vision Syndrome Affecting 3 Million Canadians


Some 3 million Canadian workers suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome, a condition caused by prolonged computer use.  In addition to that, a recent survey by the American Optometric Association found that 68% of young adults report a technology related vision problem. 


And as our nation has moved from a manufacturing society to an information society, Computer Vision Syndrome has become a workplace concern.  While prolonged computer use will not damage vision, it can make you uncomfortable and decrease productivity.


Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is caused by the eyes constantly focusing and refocusing on the characters on a computer screen. These characters don’t have the contrast or well-defined edges like printed words and the eyes’ focus cannot remain fixed. Symptoms of CVS include headaches, loss of focus, burning or tired eyes, blurred vision and neck or shoulder pain.


CVS can be partially alleviated by changes in the ergonomics of the work area.  Proper lighting and monitor placement can go a long way toward reducing CVS, as can giving your eyes frequent "breaks” from the computer. But the underlying cause of CVS – the ability of the eyes to focus on the computer screen – may only be remedied by specialized computer glasses.


A comprehensive eye exam, including questions about a person’s computer use habits is the first step. If we determine that vision correction for computer use is required, we can prescribe computer lenses that are designed to improve your vision in the 18” – 28” range, the optimal distance between your eyes and the computer monitor.


The right eye-wear can greatly improve your visual comfort.  One popular option the patients at our clinic is Gunnar eye-wear