Learn how to easily reduce or eliminate symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a series of eye and vision-related issues triggered by extensive computer use.  Our bodies have not evolved at the same speed as technology.  As a result, many frequent computer users experience physical side effects.  CVS encompasses a range of problems which manifest from lengthy computer use.  According to the American Optometric Association, the most common symptoms of CVS include:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

The American Optometric Association states that the following factors may contribute to CVS symptoms:

  • Poor lighting
  • Glare on the computer screen
  • Improper viewing distances
  • Poor seating problems

If you suffer from CVS symptoms, it is best to see a physician for a comprehensive eye exam and treatment.  In the interim, there are simple measures you can take to help minimize the symptoms of CVS:

  1. If you’re working for more than an hour at the computer, take a 5-10 minute break to perform a non-computer related task.
  2. Do the 20-20 rule.  For every 20 minutes spent at the computer, take a 20 second break to look into the distance.  This enables you to give them a rest and a chance to refocus.
  3. Adjust your lighting.  You do not want glare from windows or overhead lighting on your computer screen.
  4. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size on your computer settings to alleviate eyestrain.
  5. Adjust the distance your computer screen.  The center of the screen should be approximately 20-40 inches from your eyes.
  6. Adjust the angle of your computer screen.  It is recommended to have the screen tilted at a 15-20 degree angle.

The United States Department of Labor website, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/computerworkstation/, provides helpful guidelines to properly set up an ergonomically correct computer workstation.  It’s always best to consult with a medical professional if you have questions or concerns.

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