Accessibility View Close toolbar

Computer Vision Syndrome

Image of hands using a touch screen tablet.

Almost everyone uses computers in the modern world, whether for recreation, employment, education or any combination of the three. Unfortunately, our increased use of computers in almost every aspect of our lives -- even using a smartphone to make a telephone call -- requires our eyes to read a computer screen. According to a New York Times article, "Lenses to Ease the Strain from Staring at Screens," by Mickey Meece, over 30 percent of adults over the age of 18 spend "at least five hours a day on a computer, tablet or smartphone." This significant and increased amount of time has led the field of optometry to recognize and identify a visual and upper body muscular disorder now known as Computer Vision Syndrome.

Visual Challenges of Using Computers

The American Optometric Association took an early and necessary interest in what came to be known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Their research explains some of the reasons why reading words on a computer varies so much from reading words printed on ink on a paper page. Words are represented on a computer screen with pixels as opposed to ink or laser markings. Depending upon the screen's pixel resolution, letters of the alphabet can be fuzzy and almost seem to move. Other, more expensive computer monitors with increased pixels can make letters stand out more sharply from the desktop background and thus, make reading easier. The lighting of computers is also different that the overhead or lamplight illumination used when we read words on paper. Paper such as that used for bound books does not reflect light back into our eyes, further limiting our ability to differentiate a letter sharply from another. A similar example can be observed when some individuals attempt to read off of glossy magazine pages and find it more difficult that reading a paperback book or an electric company bill.

The physical distance from a desktop computer and the viewing angle can also increase eyestrain. Using a laptop or tablet computer allows the user to modify the distance between their eyes and the screen, only to encourage poor cervical posture similar to a turtle's head protruding from its shell. Finally, most individuals working at a desk are constantly readjusting their visual focus due to the various distances used for their work, such as reading correspondence, handwriting memos, reading an email online and switching to office telephone buttons or labels.

Symptoms for Your Eye Doctor to Evaluate

Visit your eye care provider if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

• Eyestrain or "tired eyes"
• Headaches after working with a computer
• Blurry vision
• Dry eyes
• Neck and/or shoulder pain
• Worsening of existing eye disorders such as farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia

Treatments for Computer Vision Syndrome

The specific combination of treatment types used to help correct Computer Vision Syndrome is determined by their origin: visual, lighting, postural or mechanical. In many situations, experts advise computer users to increase word font sizes to minimize squinting and to adjust screen contrast systems so that words appear more distinctly. Some patients will require special computer glasses while others can find relief with use of an anti-glare computer screen. Dry eyes can be relieved by artificial tears and taking more frequent breaks from computer work. Ask your eye care provider today for treatments and techniques to minimize your chances of developing Computer Vision Syndrome.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Dallas Office

Monday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Lance and his staff were awesome. I am grateful."
    Shan J.

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • Curbing Macular Degeneration

    Macular degeneration represents one of the most significant causes of vision loss in older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.8 million people currently suffer from macular degeneration, with an additional 7.3 million people at risk of developing this ...

    Read More
  • Premature Babies and Vision Problems

    Prematurity can cause a range of vision problems. Fortunately, optometrists offer a range of treatments and devices that can improve your child's ability to see. ...

    Read More
  • What Do Your Eyes Say About Your Health?

    Subtle changes in your eyes may be the first signs of a health problem. ...

    Read More
  • Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

    Does your cosmetics make your eyes water and burn? Try these makeup tips for sensitive eyes. ...

    Read More
  • How to Clean Your Eyeglasses

    Do you know how to clean your eyeglasses correctly? Take a look a few tips that will keep your specs cleaner. ...

    Read More
  • All About Amblyopia

    Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual disorder caused by abnormal vision development, often occurring during infancy. Patients with amblyopia have reduced vision in one eye, because it is not working properly in conjunction with the brain. With early detection and proper treatment, loss of ...

    Read More
  • All About Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is a serious disorder that can damage the optic nerves of your eyes if left untreated. The optic nerve carries images from your eyes to your brain. If the nerve is damaged, full or partial vision loss can occur. In some cases, people develop glaucoma because the pressure in their eyes begins ...

    Read More
  • Binocular Vision: Disorders and Treatment

    For many, the term binocular vision conjures images of super powers or the rare ability to spot objects far away, but having binocular vision simply means having two eyes with which to see. Binocular vision does lend creatures with two eyes advantages over those with only one, such as enhanced vision, ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It?

    Diabetic retinopathy refers to several eye problems that are characterized by damage to the light-sensitive retina, caused by excessive blood sugar levels. Almost half of Americans with diabetes suffer from some level of diabetic retinopathy. When glucose levels in the blood are not properly controlled, ...

    Read More
  • Glaucoma Care: What You Need to Know

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. This common eye condition typically affects older adults, although infants and young adults are also at risk. Fortunately, however, cutting-edge research is improving diagnosis and treatment of this ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles