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Computer vision syndrome (CVS) occurs when there is an unnecessary strain on the eyes from using a computer or other digital screen for prolonged periods of time. We are seeing an increasing number of these types of cases in recent years, which should come as no surprise. Our society is largely centered around technology and devices, both in our personal and professional lives. Even young kids have tablets and eventually cell phones, something that previous generations did not. We have become so attached to our screens, oftentimes looking at multiple devices at the same time (you know you’ve done it before, scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest while you ‘watch’ the Olympics or a movie). Our attachment and reliance on these devices are not only hindering our ability to connect with others on a personal level, but it is also proving to be detrimental to our health.
What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?
As you’ve probably guessed, computer vision syndrome is caused by prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and smartphone use. Many people who suffer from CVS experience eye discomfort and a wide range of vision problems. While it’s common to feel discomfort after working on the computer for a long time, those with CVS notice their level of discomfort becomes much worse the longer they use their digital screen.
According to a recent study, 65 percent of Americans say they have experienced some symptoms of digital eye strain. While most people have CVS because they stare at a computer screen for too long without taking any breaks, other factors such as lighting in the room, distance from the screen, glare on the screen, seating posture, and even the angle of your head can contribute to vision problems.
Common Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
It is important for you to schedule an appointment with your Arlington eye doctor if you are having trouble seeing or are experiencing eye strain and discomfort. He or she will be able to determine if you have CVS or another vision problem. Here is a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome:
- Headaches (especially behind the eyes)
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Upper body discomfort
Please keep in mind that these symptoms can be associated with other conditions and vision problems. It is important that you see a doctor in order to determine if you are suffering from CVS. Thankfully, there are a handful of things you can do in order to reduce the effects of CVS:
- Adjust the lighting in the room to make it easier for your eyes to see the screen without straining
- Position your computer so that your head is in a comfortable position
- Take breaks
- It is recommended to give your eyes a break from any digital screens every 20 minutes
- Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable, supportive chair in order to avoid any unnecessary back, neck, or shoulder strain