Computer Vision Syndrome

Image of hands using a touch screen tablet.

Almost everyone uses computers in the modern world, whether for recreation, employment, education or any combination of the three. Unfortunately, our increased use of computers in almost every aspect of our lives -- even using a smartphone to make a telephone call -- requires our eyes to read a computer screen. According to a New York Times article, "Lenses to Ease the Strain from Staring at Screens," by Mickey Meece, over 30 percent of adults over the age of 18 spend "at least five hours a day on a computer, tablet or smartphone." This significant and increased amount of time has led the field of optometry to recognize and identify a visual and upper body muscular disorder now known as Computer Vision Syndrome.

Visual Challenges of Using Computers

The American Optometric Association took an early and necessary interest in what came to be known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Their research explains some of the reasons why reading words on a computer varies so much from reading words printed on ink on a paper page. Words are represented on a computer screen with pixels as opposed to ink or laser markings. Depending upon the screen's pixel resolution, letters of the alphabet can be fuzzy and almost seem to move. Other, more expensive computer monitors with increased pixels can make letters stand out more sharply from the desktop background and thus, make reading easier. The lighting of computers is also different that the overhead or lamplight illumination used when we read words on paper. Paper such as that used for bound books does not reflect light back into our eyes, further limiting our ability to differentiate a letter sharply from another. A similar example can be observed when some individuals attempt to read off of glossy magazine pages and find it more difficult that reading a paperback book or an electric company bill.

The physical distance from a desktop computer and the viewing angle can also increase eyestrain. Using a laptop or tablet computer allows the user to modify the distance between their eyes and the screen, only to encourage poor cervical posture similar to a turtle's head protruding from its shell. Finally, most individuals working at a desk are constantly readjusting their visual focus due to the various distances used for their work, such as reading correspondence, handwriting memos, reading an email online and switching to office telephone buttons or labels.

Symptoms for Your Eye Doctor to Evaluate

Visit your eye care provider if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

• Eyestrain or "tired eyes"
• Headaches after working with a computer
• Blurry vision
• Dry eyes
• Neck and/or shoulder pain
• Worsening of existing eye disorders such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia

Treatments for Computer Vision Syndrome

The specific combination of treatment types used to help correct Computer Vision Syndrome is determined by their origin: visual, lighting, postural or mechanical. In many situations, experts advise computer users to increase word font sizes to minimize squinting and to adjust screen contrast systems so that words appear more distinctly. Some patients will require special computer glasses while others can find relief with use of an anti-glare computer screen. Dry eyes can be relieved by artificial tears and taking more frequent breaks from computer work. Ask your eye care provider today for treatments and techniques to minimize your chances of developing Computer Vision Syndrome.

Exclusive Offer

New patients receive 15% OFF* first visit.

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:30 am-7:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Announcements

  • "Resler-Kerber #1!

    Thank you North County for voting
    Resler-Kerber Optometry, Inc. #1"

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    One of the leading causes of vision loss in people who are age 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This common eye condition leads to damage of a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula provides us with the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Eye Diseases

    Diabetes is a condition that involves high blood sugar (glucose) levels. This can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes. One of the most common diabetic eye diseases is diabetic retinopathy, which is also a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    Somewhere around the age of 40, most people’s eyes lose the ability to focus on close-up objects. This condition is called presbyopia. You may start holding reading material farther away, because it is blurry up close. Reading suddenly gives you eyestrain. You might wonder when manufacturers started ...

    Read More
  • Laser Cataract Surgery

    The only way to correct the clouded vision caused by advanced cataracts is surgical intervention. If you find yourself pursuing cataract surgery to remove one or both cataract-disease lenses, you may be wondering what surgical approaches are available for treatment. Although eye surgeons have successfully ...

    Read More
  • Cataract Surgery

    With cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist removes the cataract-diseased lens of your eye. The ophthalmologist then replaces your natural lens with an artificial one. The Procedure This outpatient procedure is generally safe and takes less than an hour. Your ophthalmologist will dilate your pupil ...

    Read More
  • Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

    Fuchs' dystrophy (pronounced fooks DIS-truh-fee) is an eye disease characterized by degenerative changes to the cornea’s innermost layer of cells. The cause for Fuchs' dystrophy is not fully understood. If your mother or father has the disease, then there is roughly a 50 percent chance that you will ...

    Read More
  • Peripheral Vision Loss

    Normal sight includes central vision (the field of view straight ahead) and peripheral vision (the field of view outside the circle of central vision). The inability to see within a normal range of view often indicates peripheral vision loss. In severe cases of peripheral vision loss, individuals only ...

    Read More
  • Presbyopia

    As we age, our eyes—like the rest of our bodies—begin to lose flexibility and strength. When this happens to the lens of the eye and its surrounding muscles, your lens will become stiff. This makes it harder to see close objects clearly because the eyes can't focus properly. It's a natural part of ...

    Read More
  • Patches

    Eye patches are used to strengthen muscle control in weak eyes. By placing a patch over the strong eye, the weaker eye is forced to do the heavy lifting. While it may be uncomfortable for the patient at first, the muscle controlling the weaker eye will become tougher and more resilient. This will allow ...

    Read More
  • How to Transition Into Different Lighted Situations

    Does it take a little while for your eyes to adjust to the dark? Try a few of these tips. ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles