Computer Vision Syndrome, a cause of eye strain, affects almost everyone in the information age. Prevention is difficult in an era where a typical person uses a computer for at least two hours and for some, up to 14 hours a day.
Prolonged computer use causes stress as the eye muscles hold on to a tensed position to maintain focus. The eye blinks a lot less, from 16 to 20 blinks to 6 to 8 blinks per minute when we are staring at the computers.
This leads to the formation of dry spots in the cornea - the clear front window of the eye that transmits and focuses light into it - resulting in discomfort and dryness.
If left untreated, CVS may affect the individual's work productivity or ability to use the computer for extended durations.
Symptoms include tired eyes, itchy and dry eyes, and occasionally, headache, or double or blurred vision. Affected individuals may also suffer from aches in neck or shoulders.
Another important cause of CVS is presbyopia which refers to the loss of the eye's ability to focus on close object due to ageing.
Most people with presbyopia do not know their reading spectacles or spectacles for distance are not appropriate for computer use. This is because the viewing distance for the computer is different to reading a book or looking at a distant object. Thus, when using either reading spectacles or distance spectacles to look at the computer, a presbyopic person will have to strain their eyes.
For people who find it a strain to read or focus on fine prints at the computer distance or close range, they can use reading glasses to help relieve some strain on they eyes. At the same time, they can incorporate Presbyopia Correction Eye Exercises in their daily routines.
Some people with presbyopia may require a separate pair of reading glasses to look at the computer if their normal reading distance is different from their computer reading distance.
The good news is CVS can be treated with a generally positive outcome. Many patients with CVS find that the lubricant eye drops usually help and so do the reading glasses. These patients will also make it a point to reduce computer useage, which is by far the most successful treatment option. But if the symptoms persist, do not ignore them and get help from an eye specialist.
A detailed eye examination may be required to exclude other causes of blurring of vision like cataracts and other causes of dry eyes, like prolonged use of contact lens etc.