Who is affected by Computer Vision Syndrome? (CVS)
Studies prove that 88% of Computer users in a work place suffer from computer eyestrain. Prolonged computer use can stress one’s eyes and impact his or her vision development.
What are the Symptoms of CVS?
If you or your child spend more than two hours each day in front of a computer screen, you are likely to experience some degree of computer vision syndrome. CVS includes:
- Loss of focus
- Burning / tired vision
- Double / blurred vision
- Neck and shoulder pains
What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?
CVS is caused by our eyes and brain reacting differently to characters on the screen than they do to printed characters. Our eyes have little problem focusing on most printed material, which is characterized by dense black characters with well-defined edges. Healthy eyes can easily maintain focus on the printed page. Characters on a computer screen, however, don’t have this contrast or well-defined edges. These characters (pixels) are brightest at the center and diminish in intensity toward their edges. This makes it difficult for our eyes to maintain focus and remain fixed onto these images. Instead our eyes drift out to a point called the “resting point of accommodation” or RPA. Our eyes involuntarily move to the RPA, and then strain to regain focus on the screen. This continuous flexing of the eyes’ focusing muscles creates fatigue, burning and tired-eyes feeling that is so common after long hours at the computer.
What can I do about it?
The solution is simple: see an eye care professional that specializes in computer vision care. In most cases, standard reading glasses or over-the- counter readers are not accurate enough, because viewing a computer is usually at a different distance (18″ – 28″) than reading distance (16″ – 21 H). Once an eye doctor accurately diagnoses your computer vision problem and determines your correct computer working distances, it’s a simple matter to prescribe computer eye glasses that will allow you to work comfortably and productively.
Will Glare Screens Prevent CVS?
Glare screen filters may help somewhat, but they will not solve your computer vision problems because they only affect glare from the computer screen – not the visual problems related to the constant refocusing of your eyes when working at a computer. Only when your eyes can focus clearly at the plane of proper distance on the computer screen they can experience relief from the fatiguing effects of CVS. An anti-reflective coating (AR) is also highly recommended on all computer eye glasses. An AR coating prevents glare and reflections on the front and the back of the lenses that would interfere with focusing on the screen.
Will Computer Eyeglasses make the Screen Clearer?
Yes, because they will eliminate the constant refocusing effort that your eyes go through when viewing the screen. It has also been proven clinically that having the correct prescription in computer eyeglasses increases productivity and accuracy.
Do Computer Eyeglasses look like Safety Glasses?
No, almost any style of frame can be used for computer eyewear. More important are the lenses that your eye doctor chooses for your computer eyeglasses. Ninety percent of the time, multifocal or progressive lenses will be your best choice, as they are designed specifically for working at a computer. They allow you to see clearly at your correct computer screen distance and can give you some distance vision beyond the computer. But whether the lenses are progressive or single vision, you and your eye doctor must determine the best lenses for your work environment.
What about the Tints I’ve heard of for Computer Lenses?
If you work in a brightly lit office, you may benefit from a light tint applied to your computer lenses. This can cut the amount of light that reaches your eyes and provide relief in some cases. But tints and filters don’t address the underlying cause of computer eye strain.
Does Every Computer User Need Computer Glasses?
More than 70% of computer users need computer eye glasses. In fact, according to a study at the University of California, Berkeley, 25% – 30% of children would benefit from computer eyewear.
If I Don’t Have Symptoms of CVS, Do I Still Need Computer Eyewear?
Maybe. According to a University of Alabama study (2004), computer users who are not experiencing symptoms of computer vision syndrome may also need computer eyewear. The study reports that it does not matter whether subjects reported symptoms of CVS. The fact is that viewing a computer screen is a different stimulus for the eyes than reading printed materials. It is much more difficult for the eyes to focus on pixels than on printed characters. Individuals with no visual problems may still be losing productivity and accuracy at the computer. This is the number one reason to get a regular eye exam from a computer vision specialist.
Will my reading Glasses work at the Computer?
Not necessarily, as with anything else you do in life, it is important to have the right tool for the job. You would not use a hammer when you need a screw driver. The same goes for your vision; you would not use distance glasses for doing close work. So in most cases your reading glasses are probably not going to do the job. The correct computer eyeglasses will optimize your comfort and productivity at the computer screen while also allowing you to read and see out at some determined distance (10 – 13 feet). Reading glasses are usually prescribed to read at a distance of 16″ – 18″, but computer glasses are usually designed to work at 18″ to 28″.
Is it true that if a Person Doesn’t see the Computer Screen clearly, He may not be as productive?
Yes, but in cases where the correction is only slightly off, the computer user may think he is seeing the screen clearly. Yet a recent study at the University of Alabama found that over time even the smallest miscorrections can cause big problems down the road, including loss of productivity and accuracy in the workplace. The eyes viewing a computer for many hours a day is analogous to the eye muscles being forced to do push – ups for hours and hours. Over time, these push-ups will significantly affect productivity, accuracy and comfort.
Isn’t Ergonomics the solution to Computer Eye strain?
Ergonomics is important – changing one’s computer workstation can certainly help to minimize other physical symptoms. But ergonomics cannot fix a visual problem. The proper prescription computer eyeglasses at the proper computer distance (18” to 28”) are most important. This can be done only with the right computer lens prescription.
Is it true that wearing Computer Eye glasses will make my Eyes Worse?
This is not true. In fact, prescription eye glasses can prevent further damage to the eyes. Depending on your prescription, an eye care professional will probably fit you in either single vision or progressive lenses. The single vision lens is designed to optimize your vision at one distance only: near for reading or work at the computer; or far for distance (watching a movie or driving). Many eye care professionals are now fitting computer users with a progressive lens that has a wide intermediate zone, which optimizes computer work. This lens also allows the wearer to read printed material while working at the computer and see a limited distance (10 to 13 feet). It is true that your eyes will get worse if you continue to stress the eye muscles and do not wear prescription eye glasses.
What is special in Eye Foundation about Computer Vision Care?
The Eye Foundation has a specialised “COMPUTER VISION CLINIC”, the first of its kind found in this part of the country specifically dedicated to the care of Computer Vision professionals. A customized thorough examination of each Computer user in carried out and his / her problem indentified and advice is given. If necessary specific eye wear for the individual is also prescribed. Advice is also given on the ergonomics, seating, positioning of the Computer, key board and general lighting. Our endeavor is to make Computer use a pleasure for our patients. At our Computer vision Clinic, we offer a customized thorough examination of each computer user and his or her problem is first identified. Advice is given on the ergonomics, seating, positioning of the computer, keyboard and general lighting. Necessary specific eyewear is also prescribed.