What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Today, millions of people all over the world are affected by Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS without them realizing it. I am a full time work at home person who spends more than 10 hours a day on my PC. Although some people claim that there is no scientific evidence that computer screens are harmful to the eyes, experts believe that anyone who stares at a computer monitor for more than two hours a day is likely to experience CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome to some extent. I think I do experience it sometimes. So, if you spend more than 2 hours a day on your computer its time to have a look at your eyes.
Computer Vision Syndrome is the term used to describe a variety of vision related symptoms and CVS affects mental and physical well being and impacts productivity.
(Note To My Stumbler Friends : Too much Stumbling causes CVS!)
Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Double Vision or Diplopia
Double vision or Diplopia is the perception of two images from a single object. The images may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Although many other reasons like head injuries, intoxication from alcohol, staring too long at your computer screen may cause double vision.
Dry eye syndrome (DES) or simply dry eyes is an eye condition caused by decrease in tear production or increased tear film evaporation. If we stare at our computer screen for long periods without blinking this condition may occur.
Temporary nearsightedness or shortsightedness or myopia causes nearby objects seen clearly, but distant objects appear blurred. Ophthalmologists and optometrists usually correct myopia using corrective lenses.
Photophobia or Decreased Tolerance to Light
Photophobia or fear of light, is excessive sensitivity to light. In medical terms, it is not fear, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure. (I suffer from this sometimes)
Eye strain or Asthenopia is an eye condition that manifests itself through nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache and occasional double vision. When we concentrate on a visually intense task like continuously focusing on computer screen or book.
CRT monitors with a low refresh rate less than 70 Hz can cause similar problems because of the flickering image. Aging computer screens also often go slightly out of focus, and this can also cause eye strain.
What Causes CVS Symptoms?
Characters on a computer screen do not have sharp edges compared to the printed ones. The pixels are brightest at the center and decreases in intensity towards the edges. This makes it very difficult for our eyes to maintain focus. Trying to focus extensively do not allow the eye muscles to move frequently, and this leads to eye strain, burning and fatigue.
Computer users usually have a fixed posture. Gazing constantly at a computer screen from a close distance leads to convergence fatigue.
Lack of image clarity often makes a computer user to stare more intensely in an effort to focus.
Glare from reflections and lights on computer screens from overhead lights or direct light coming through windows and bouncing off the screens tires the eyes.
Infrequent blinking causes the tear film in our eyes to evaporate. While a person blinks 15 times per minute, the blink rate comes down to 5 times in a minute when working on a computer because of continuosly staring at the screen. Blinking is important for spreading of tears to form an even film on the eye surface. Inadequate blinking causes the eyes to become dry and irritated.
What Can Be Done To Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome?
Anyone who has the symptoms or suspects of CVS should have a thorough eye check with an eye specialist. Apart from this a few precautions could reduce the risk of CVS.
Ideally the monitor should be at a distance of 16-30 inches from the eyes depending on the size of your screen. Also adjust the height of the computer table or the chair, so that the middle of the screen is 15-20 degrees below eye level. Always try to use an ergonomic chair as it helps in reducing neck and back pains in users.
Avoid Air Drafts
Avoid sitting in front of a pedestal/table fan or an airconditioner facing its air draft while working on a computer.
Position your computer screen so that the windows are to the side rather than the back or front. Using glare filter screens on monitors are helpful.
Make a conscious effort to blink more often. Try to blink every time you make a click with the mouse or every time you hit "ENTER!. Alternately you could try the suggested formula 20:20:20. That is, every 20 minutes : for 20 seconds : blink 20 times.
Use Eye Lubrication
Lubricating eye drops help to moisturize your eyes. Eyes become dry and irritated by working for long hours on the computer. Lubricating eye drops help in reducing eye strain and redness, provides soothing effect to he eyes and relieves irritation.
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Take A Break
Take a 5 minute break for every thirty munutes of work on your computer. This can reduce eye fatigue and get you refreshed.
If you experience any of the following do not hesitate to consult your ophthalmologist: for you may be a victim of Computer Vision Syndrome!
Burning eyes, double vision, eye fatigue or tiredness, blurry distance vision when looking up from the monitor, dry, tired, or sore eyes, when you need to squint to focus on the screen, neck, shoulder, or back pain, when it seems that thr letters on the screen run together,headaches during or after working at the computer, when driving or during night vision is worse after using a computer, when you see "halos" around objects on the screen, and when you need to interrupt work frequently to rest eye.
An estimated 40 percent to 70 percent of computer users suffer from dry, irritated eyes associated with Computer Vision Syndrome. The good news is that it can be treated.
- Computer vision syndrome
- COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME (CVS)
- Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
- Computer Vision Syndrome
Do You Have CVS?
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on May 05, 2012:
This is a very informative hub, thank-you. I linked to it within my latest hub about staying healthy as a freelance writer. Thanks for the useful information!
DoctorDarts on April 10, 2012:
Important hub; gonna pass this on to a few people I know who might have this...
Peter B. on April 01, 2012:
For many years I had suffered from dry or red eye, irritation and many other things. Seen specialists and eye doctors. Drops and eyewash nothing seemed to work.
So finally after some thought and info off the internet, here's what I came up with. Hot showers containing Fluoride and Chlorine have been part of the trouble. Tank water also contains harmful residues from woodsmoke and traffic emmissions.
So simply buying a cheap filter jug with a carbon element rids the water of most detrimental things such as fluoride and chlorine along with metals such as lead, zink and copper.
Simply boil this filtered water and let cool for a great soothing eyewash. Try not to have as many hot showers as Fluoride and chlorine can soak into the pours around the eye's.
Many eye specialists will keep you waiting several hours simply to fob you off with a script for eyedrops then as you leave they will mug you for a high fee.
If you use eyedrops always check them as your hair may fall out!
GeeDee on February 15, 2012:
I'm not sure if the above answers my particular problem.
I have my computer linked to my 37" TV which is positioned approx 8 feet from my sofa, at roughly eye level or slightly below.
I use the computer for upwards of 8 hours per day (not always continuously) and find that, often late in the evening, I have some vertical double vision.
This appears as a faint reddish ghost image sightly below the image being viewed, and is more noticeable when viewing areas of light against dark, ie white/light-coloured text on a dark/black background.
The ghost image is present under lighter conditions but is less noticeable.
Once it's begun, the double vision is present whether I'm wearing my glasses or not, and may come and go at a moment's notice.
I feel it's more of a chromatic displacement than a true second image but that's just my own thoughts and I don't know if that's even possible.
I did mention it to my Optician during my last check up but he spoke about "floaters" and such, which made no sense to me, and I didn't pursue it further.
I confess, I drink too much than is good for me, but this doesn't occur during periods of intoxication so I'm tempted to rule that out as a cause.
Does any of this make sense?
andyman on October 25, 2011:
In the 'What Can Be Done To Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome?' section of the article, why is there no mention of what is probably the most important requirement ie. ensuring that your monitor itself is up to the job ?
You can change a monitor's position, change your position, fiddle with the controls, avoid air drafts, and take as many breaks as you want, but there comes a point where it is no longer fit for its purpose and further use can cause vision problems for the user without the user necessarily being aware of the cause.
I have visited many offices up and down the country in my working life and seen staff squinting at monitors which have screen pixel burn due to the fact that they have been left switched on and unattended for hours on end with no screensaver or power management to protect it. Whilst it is the responsibility of companies to protect the health of it's own workers whilst on the premises, this is something that is sometimes overlooked and it is important to mention it in an article like this so that at least users are aware of its importance.
EyeConcern on October 16, 2011:
I hope someday they will come up with zero glare or radiation monitor. People now and tomorrow just can't live without computer. We are now tied up in computer world. Expert please come up with a solution fast to save our eye vision.
jassim on September 28, 2011:
yes i have cvs now :p and thanks a lot i have learn about CVS only because of you!!!
Jessica on September 07, 2011:
Thank u for your verrygood advise
Izuogu Amarachi on August 27, 2011:
Thanks for acquainting me with all the above information. As an Optometrist, I'll help in saving our generation as my ownquota in vision 2020. Thanks
Nicole Monk on August 25, 2011:
Your lens is very informative and very useful for the readers. Thank you for the information Sun. Keep it up.
Reading Glasses with LED Lights
Faheem on March 28, 2011:
i spend like 4-5 on the pc aday, and im seeing double. exactly how the pic shows at the top.
lindajot from Willamette Valley - Oregon on January 03, 2011:
Great info - I've had such issues to the extreme for the last 5 mnths - very frustrating. The photophobia is not fun. Thanks for the read!
sb on October 27, 2010:
I am suffereing with most of the sympotoms that u have mentioned...life has become hell...i have red eyes, inability to read from monitors, blurred visions,sever headaches...
All this started after I worked under a severe stress, with 2 tubelights on my head..and almost 13 hrs everyday on a computer..for arnd 3 months...now even after taking all precatuions it does not go away....
\have been suffereing this way from past 2years...now have no choice but to change career...
Hassana on June 09, 2010:
Great info - thanks for the good advice!
Alison Graham from UK on May 07, 2010:
Thank you, I found this really helpful, well-written and informative.
electricsky from North Georgia on April 26, 2010:
Thanks for the at-home helpful tips for eyecare.
Should a person use reading glasses (close-up vision lenses)
while reading a computer screen?
satyam12 from india on February 25, 2010:
yes u are right, the hub is very helpful, thanks for giving such useful advice
Danielle on February 02, 2010:
Okay my eyes turn red and i get head achs, it has been bothering me for a long time, when i look at something i will see it's shadow for atleast two or more mnt's before it goes away completly if someone could send me an e-mail and tell me witch one of these symptoms i have that would be greatly appriciated
Hopefully i get a good anser that is really accurate from someone,
David on January 22, 2010:
Great post, i know that after working with the computer for extended periods of time i start to notice some of the double vision and dry eyes. It also cannot help when working in air-conditioning as this compounds the problem.
intogadget on November 13, 2009:
that double vision picture at the top of the post took another 5 years off my eyesite, thanks for the article, now I know what the condition is, I will continue to do nothing about it, no im jk but the tips will help me salvage some of the site i have left, thanks, ill keep an eye out for the rest of your articles
steelbreeze from Mumbai, India on November 12, 2009:
Thank you so much for the information. Now I can relate to all the problems I am facing with my eyes.
john warrior on November 09, 2009:
i don't know
my eye sight has suffered
and no one knows what is the matter
i think it's the computer
sometimes i cannot remember faces i saw just before
The Ruislip Blacksmith on August 17, 2009:
I just wish I'd read this earlier, but at least I now know what's causing my problem. Thank you so much.
Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on July 17, 2009:
I have this problem but seeing as I depend on the PC for my paid work there's not a lot I can do about cutting down my time on it! Something else to worry about I am afraid!
Nicolette Goff from British Columbia on May 27, 2009:
Just found your hub, thanks to the link from Jerilee today. It's information all us computer users need to know. I've been wondering why I have dry eyes - guess I know.
altonguy on March 19, 2009:
I wish somebody would have told me this when I first bought my laptop. My eyes have been burning like crazy lately. Maybe sunglasses will help too. Thanks for the tips! I learned my lesson for sure.
Nightwatcher30m on December 31, 2008:
I was lookin at the posts hmmm indeed - nice info - but what the heck is computer alcoholics ?????? maybe the dude meant computerholics bwahahahha
vishal on October 22, 2008:
I am also victim of CVS but what i would like to know is, whether you are feeling better after doing all this.
Abhijit on August 23, 2008:
I am experiecing this terribly since a year but i am not able to understand is it CVS.I I have this symmptoms even when i dnt use computer for a few day..But its terrible especially in the evening or while bending or doin any activities there is heavy headeness.Now while writing this comment i am experiencing it..
Nawazkhan Ahroodkhan on July 02, 2008:
Hi thanks for these great explanations about eye care, I'm already a victim of CVS and I am already undergoing a treatment for removing the pain. Its of course with an ophtalmologist that I started the treatment. Guys, you've done a nice job by inserting clearly all these stuffs here. God bless you all. Keep it up. Khuda Hafiz..
Carolina Crete from Crete, Greece on February 25, 2008:
No matter how hard I try I see the 'double vision' photo above in quadruple! Do I have a really bad case of CVS?! Thanks for the great hub.
Julie on December 25, 2007:
Thanks for sending me this message. I am happy to have followed your link to read this article it is very enlightening and something I will definitely think about. I am on the computer a lot!
Excellent Hub Page
Freegoddies on December 25, 2007:
Thanks for sharing the info,we should be careful while using computers.Great Hub
Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on December 19, 2007:
Great info. This really is eye opening.
shemesh on December 05, 2007:
Thanks for the info. As usual, you have excelled.
Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on November 28, 2007:
Great hub, SunSeven! I work for a major .com and everyone (all 250 or so of us now) sit in front of a computer all day long. This hub is great advice. :)
William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on November 27, 2007:
Great information, SunSeven. My eyes have been burning lately. Your hub is timely. I was just thinking I need to spend less time reading on my laptop. But there are so many good hubs I don't want to miss.
teeray from Canada on November 25, 2007:
Whoa - I am traumatized by the pictures! Some of those are spooky, eh? Then I dashed to the washroom to look in the mirror, thinkin', "Heh, no problem, 4h online surfin' hubs and typing philosophy essays doesn't affect ME...."
Ack! there were TWO of me - which is really a problem in my little apartment! lol
Great hub - well done.
Whitney from Georgia on November 25, 2007:
Wow! I never really thought about this! I will admit to way too much time surfing the net. Maybe I need to relax my eyes more! Well, I know I should, but it's hard to keep entertained not on the computer. :-(
sukritha from Cochin on November 24, 2007:
Great. As a person who spend long time infront of computer, I am really thankful to you.
Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on November 24, 2007:
Great Info! Most of the symptoms you've described are also conditions people can get, when over-use of the eyes is part of their work. I can vouch for it, I've been working as a tailor for thirty years. I'm at the stage, with my eyes, that I only sew Black for maybe two hours at the brightest time of the day. I've had to get special glasses for close-up and computer work.
Great HUB as usual
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 24, 2007:
Thai is an excellent Hub. When I get double vision, I put on a pair of my old glasses and that eyes back onto focus. Then I rest my eyes for a good liong time.
Isabella Snow on November 24, 2007:
I know I have this, and was just thinking about it last night. Great hub SunSeven!
Mark Knowles on November 24, 2007:
Excellent hub as always. I must take care not to overdo it. Thanks.
Tony Sky from London UK on November 24, 2007:
Another excellent educational hub which has been taken on board;)
Marye Audet on November 24, 2007:
yep...I am going to need to break down and get glasses soon. :/
soyelude from Lagos - Nigeria on November 24, 2007:
Sunseven you have added to my knowledge base through your infotainment. Every computer nerd must be grateful.
MrMarmalade from Sydney on November 24, 2007:
Say two years ago I was undergoing most of what your comments are about. I have incorporated a pair of glasses just foe computer staring. Still happens
Ashok Rajagopalan from Chennai on November 23, 2007:
Great, useful hub; every hubber better listen to this!
And thanks for the bonus picture of my favourite hubber,
thought it's slightly out of focus!
Terri Paajanen on November 23, 2007:
Good info. Thankfully, I'm distracted from my work every 3 minutes by my young daughter. :)