Computer Vision

1Do you have eyestrain and fatigue after working on a computer?

For many people, working in front of a computer monitor means sore eyes, blurred vision, neck & shoulder pain, and even headaches. In fact, the most frequent complaint amongst workers that use a computer is visually related. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the complex of eye and vision problems experienced during or related to computer use.

One reason why CVS occurs, is because your eyes need to work harder to focus on the computer screen for a prolonged period of time than if you are focusing on a printed page. Often the letters on a computer screen are not as precise or sharply defined, the level of contract of the letters to the background is reduced, and the presence of glare and reflections on the screen may make viewing difficult.

The presence of even minor vision problems can often significantly affect comfort and performance at a computer. Eye Care Center doctors employ specific near point visual testing techniques at simulated computer distances to determine if there is a need for a computer specific glasses prescription to alleviate the symptoms of CVS. A single vision glasses or contact lens prescription prescribed for everyday use may not be optimal for computer use. This type of prescription allows your eyes to view images at distance but forces your eyes to refocus to a nearer point each time you blink when working on the computer for long periods of time. Additionally, a standard progressive lens (no line bifocal) has a very limited viewing area designated for the computer that can be often difficult to consistently look through. Prescription lenses designated to focus at your computer monitor distance can be of great benefit to significantly reduce or eliminate the symptoms of CVS.

Even if you are wearing the optimal prescription for computer viewing a number of other factors need to be considered to keep your eyes most comfortable. Our natural blink rate decreases by up to 50% when viewing a computer. You may need to replenish your natural tear production that is lost with reduced blinking with a quality artificial tear product. The visual ergonomic setup plays a role in reducing CVS symptoms as well. Our eyes are most comfortable viewing a screen when looking downward. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes. Lastly, take a brief visual break of 20 seconds every 20 minutes and look into the distance to allow your eyes to relax.

Please view the symptom checklist and let your Eye Care Center doctor know at your examination if you are experiencing any of these.

Computer User's Comfort and Productivity Checklist:

• Headache associated with computer use
• Eyestrain
• Dry eyes
• Blurred vision
• Slow to refocus on objects around the room after prolonged computer or desk work
• Difficulty seeing clearly at distance after prolonged computer use
• Vision goes in and out of focus
• Words appear to move on the screen
• Frequent visual mistakes

Depending on the results of your examination, you may be a candidate that could benefit from a home based computerized vision therapy program.Utilization of this program could result in the significat reduction or elimination of your symptoms within just a few months.

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