Computer Vision Syndrome: What It Is and How To Avoid It

If you’ve ever spent long hours in front of the computer then you may have noticed its effect on your eyes. By the end of the day, your eyes feel tired and uncomfortable — a condition known as computer vision syndrome. You may think that it just comes with the territory, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are steps you can take to reduce symptoms and see comfortably.

Computer vision syndrome is a set of symptoms that occur when looking at digital screens for long periods of time. It can make your eyes feel itchy, watery, dry, and increase redness. This occurs for a number of reasons including not blinking enough. You can reduce your symptoms by getting a comprehensive eye exam, reducing glare, wearing blue light glasses, and following the 20-20-20 rule.

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

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Also known as digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome is actually a group of vision and eye problems. They are associated with spending a lot of time looking at computer monitors, cell phone screens, and many other digital devices such as e-readers. 

Computer vision syndrome can make your eyes feel:

  • Itchy
  • Watery
  • Dry
  • Red

It can also cause your eyes to feel tired and uncomfortable. This can affect your ability to concentrate and even impact your performance at work and in daily life.

Computer vision syndrome has increased in frequency over the past few decades as digital devices have become more common in our lives. Most people experience some symptoms of the condition if they work on a computer or if they spend a lot of time on their smartphones. Even children are experiencing it who spend a lot of time on tablets.

Click here to learn if using a smartphone can damage your eyesight!

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is caused by reading text on a digital screen. This happens for a number of reasons, but the main issue is that reading from a digital screen is more difficult for your eyes than reading a physical book. This puts more strain on your eyes as you read on a digital device, leading to symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Common factors that result in computer vision syndrome include:

  • Screen glare
  • Poor posture
  • Incorrect distance from the screen
  • Incorrect angle of the screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Undiagnosed vision problems

Another major cause of computer vision syndrome is not blinking enough. People tend to blink less when looking at digital screens, which can cause dry eye. As your eyes become drier, they become more prone to feeling uncomfortable, tired, and irritated.

Many people suffer from a combination of these problems. Fortunately, most of them can be fixed in a few easy steps. It can also help to have your eyes checked at our Hardin Valley eyecare center. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott can check your vision for refractive errors or any other problems that could cause computer vision syndrome symptoms.

How to Prevent Computer Eye Syndrome

digital eye strain

Computer eye syndrome is easy to prevent with a few easy steps. The most important thing is to make sure that there are no underlying issues with your vision. You should also use anti-glare screens to reduce glare. Some people have found blue light glasses to reduce their eye fatigue. You should also follow the 20-20-20 rule to ensure that your eyes are getting regular breaks.

Click here to learn about the difference between blue light glasses and reading glasses!

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam

A comprehensive eye exam does more than give us a chance to update your eyewear prescription. They also give our eye doctors an opportunity to view the structures of your eyes to see if there are any underlying vision problems. With comprehensive eye exams, we can check for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and even diabetes.

To learn what to expect during your Knoxville comprehensive eye exam, click here!

Reduce Glare from Your Computer Screen

Glare from digital screens can play a big role in developing symptoms of computer eye syndrome. One of the easiest ways to reduce glare is with anti-glare screens. You can find them for all your digital devices from your laptop to your smartphone to your tablet. If you work from home then you can also paint your walls with something that has a matte finish to reduce glare.

Another option would be to get glasses with an anti-glare coating. Also known as AR coating, this unique lens coating helps reduce your eye strain while also providing a clear lens. This way you will experience less light reflected from your glasses in photos as well as less glare from your computer. You can also find AR coatings that block blue light, as well.

Buy a Pair of Blue Light Glasses

Blue light glasses, or computer glasses, are the latest weapon in the battle against computer vision syndrome. They are designed with special lenses that prevent blue light from digital screens from ever reaching your eyes. Fans of this special type of eyewear believe they reduce glare and protect your vision from prolonged blue light exposure.

Blue light glasses are still pretty new so there hasn’t been much research on them as of yet. What research we have is also pretty mixed with no conclusive evidence for or against their claims. However, there is no shortage of anecdotal evidence attesting to how they helped reduce wearers’ computer vision syndrome symptoms, so they are definitely worth trying.

Click here to learn more about the science behind blue light glasses! 

Practice the 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is a simple but effective way to prevent computer eye syndrome both at work and at home. You can follow it in three easy steps:

  1. Look at something 20 feet away
  2. For 20 seconds
  3. Every 20 minutes

By following these steps, you are ensuring that you are looking away from your screen at regular intervals. This gives your eyes an opportunity to relax and blink so they can stay hydrated and comfortable.

Are you suffering from computer vision syndrome and looking for relief? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Computer vision syndrome has been on the rise in adults and children as digital screens have become more prevalent. Long periods of looking at them can leave your eyes feeling uncomfortable and tired. This is due to a number of factors including not blinking as much when looking at digital screens. You can reduce your symptoms by getting a comprehensive eye exam, reducing glare, investing in computer glasses, and following the 20-20-20 rule.

Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.

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Dr. Thompson was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. His family has lived in the Hardin Valley area since 1998, and he graduated from Karns High School in 2004. Dr. Thompson runs Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical alongside his wife, Dr. Catherine Abbott.

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