Computer Vision Syndrome and Digital Fatigue
With life being transitioned to the digital world over the past several years, computer vision syndrome has become more prevalent in patients. Computer vision syndrome, which may be referred to as Digital Eye Strain, is an eye condition that occurs from frequent or strenuous electronic use (this may include your computer, cellphone, television, tablet or e-reader). At Perspective Optometry, we provide services that can offer relief from computer vision syndrome.
Why is Computer Vision Syndrome so common nowadays?
Many jobs have adopted the use of computers, which has extended the period of which we surf the internet during the day. In fact, on average, employees may spend up to seven hours each day on their computer. This number grows in personal time at home.
This prolonged time absorbing blue light can cause an extreme strain on the eyes and eye muscles. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association, 68% of young adults have developed a vision problem due to technology use. This number is staggeringly high — but suggests that you aren’t alone in your concerns.
Common symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:
- Uncomfortable eye strain
- Persistent headaches
- Dry eyes
- Pain throughout the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Blurred vision
- Burning or tired eyes
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
Computer Vision Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions
Over 3 million Canadian workers suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome, which means that computer use can quickly become uncomfortable. Computer Vision Syndrome is common among Canadians, and several other patients have had the same questions that you may have.
What causes computer vision syndrome?
A digital screen requires extra work for your eyes and eye muscles to focus, and several factors can play into this. For example, the contrast of the font of a screen differs greatly from a book or magazine and the glare also poses a threat to the eye. Angles and distances may also require extra strain for the eye to focus.
Most commonly, we find computer vision syndrome is caused by the following factors:
- Poor screen lighting or poor lighting in the room
- Glare on the computer or tablet screen
- The distance between the user and the screen often provides a strain
- The posture of the user can contribute to eye strain
- Preexisting vision problems that haven’t been addressed or corrected are further strained
A combination of these factors can play into the amount of strain or the severity of symptoms that you may experience. By minimizing some (or all) of these factors, computer vision syndrome may become more manageable.
How do you treat computer vision syndrome?
Thankfully, we can provide the appropriate computer vision syndrome solutions. However, prevention and addressing concerns are the most important factors when experiencing eye strain. Computer vision syndrome treatment may include a combination of eye care and computer adjustment.
We may recommend eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision concerns and help refocus the eye. However, sometimes eyewear isn’t enough to improve eye coordination. Your doctor may recommend vision therapy to retrain the eye and eye muscles.
Your computer and screen habits may need to change in order to provide relief. This may include moving the location or angle of your computer screen, improving the lighting in the room, investing in an anti-glare screen and ensuring adequate posture and seating positions.
We also recommend rest periods and the 20-20-20 rule to help long-term eye health.
How will the doctor diagnose computer vision syndrome?
Your doctor will provide a comprehensive eye exam and refraction test to determine the strength and strain of your eye muscles. It is also imperative to discuss patient history with your doctor to get a full scope of what may be contributing to your discomfort.
What can I do to prevent further computer vision syndrome?
The best thing you can do to prevent computer vision syndrome is to follow the advice given by your doctor. Try to limit your screen time when appropriate and stay diligent in proper screen behaviors. Get routine eye exams to ensure that your condition isn’t progressing.
Your body will typically communicate with you when it needs a break. Stay mindful about blurred vision, headaches and eyestrain. Take a walk away from your screen and focus on nature or other factors when out and about.
Though prevention is the best treatment, you may be unable to completely avoid screen time. Our doctors typically recommend a 20-20-20 rule. According to optometrists, it’s best to focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds per every 20 minutes of screen time — this will help your eyes readjust and provide a much-needed break for the eye muscles.
Though there is little information to support the usage of blue light glasses, purchasing eyeglasses with a yellow hue may also help block the harmful blue light from your eyes. Users report increased comfort while using their computer while wearing blue light eyeglasses.
If your doctor recommends eyeglasses or contact lenses to you, stay diligent in using them how they’re prescribed. Unfortunately, excessive computer use can compromise eye movement skills or dry eyes — which results in further eye cre concerns. Our full-service clinic can assist with any (and all) of these issues.
Why Perspective Optometry?
Perspective Optometry is a full-service optometrist clinic in Vancouver. We are dedicated to providing the most comprehensive services to our patients. We have maintained a constant level of education and understanding for our patients to ensure that any larger optical concerns are handled with care.
Our services have branched out to completely encompass all eye care concerns. We work with you to ensure that your long-term eye health is being prioritized. If you think you’re suffering from computer vision syndrome or another uncomfortable eye condition, our doctors will be able to address it with compassion and understanding.
After being in the industry for several years, our team has developed a unique and holistic approach to optometry. Perspective Optometry focuses on eye health from A to Z, so you have the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are in the best hands at our clinic.
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See Dr. Randhawa
To book an appointment with Dr. Randhawa, please book online or call Perspective Optomterty Vancouver at (604) 435-EYE1.