Computer Vision Syndrome

Issues with your eyes from looking and squinting at a computer screen is known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

CVS is not one specific problem, rather a range of eye strain and pain. Even if you have never had eye problems before, you may have noticed your eyes become strained or sore after two or more hours of
screen time.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain and discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Dry, scratchy eyes
  • Neck and/or shoulder pain

Your symptoms will depend:

  • On how long you stare at your computer screen
  • Your posture
  • Lighting
  • Glare
  • The angle of the monitor
  • Whether or not you have other diagnosed or undiagnosed vision problems

Mild symptoms do worsen over time and can lead to other vision problems if not treated. We are here to help.

What causes computer vision syndrome?

  • If you already suffer from astigmatism, farsightedness, presbyopia, aging eyes, and/or diabetic eye problems, you will be vulnerable to computer vision symptoms
  • If you already have prescription glasses or contacts you will be more sensitive to computer vision syndrome. Regular eyeglasses and contact lenses aren’t always designed to deflect the problems caused by computer screens. Talk to your optometrist to learn more about the right prescription for you.

Your optometrist can design a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms. If you have normal vision, a pair of computer reading glasses can be very helpful. If you already wear contacts or glasses, computer-friendly prescriptions are available.


_____ How to help prevent eye damage from our computer screens?

There are many preventive tips we suggest to cut down on computer eye strain problems:

Eye Rest and Blinking Breaks—Every 20 minutes during your work day, look away toward a distant point for 20 seconds to refocus your eyes. Give yourself a 15-minute break after every 2-hour computer session. Don’t forget to blink frequently to keep your eyes from drying!

Computer setup—Adjust your monitor so that it is about 15-20 degrees lower than your eye level when seated about 20-28 inches away from your screen. Reference materials can be placed on a document holder between your monitor and keyboard, or to the side of your monitor. Look for a position with as little head movement as possible will help your eyes too. Anti-glare screens are commonly used to help reduce glare from surrounding lights. Sitting with proper posture will alleviate neck and shoulder strain, reducing possible headaches.

Lighting —If you can control the lighting in your workspace (and your computer) you can minimize the glare. Where possible, always use natural lighting.

A combination of optometry and self care can reduce the amount of computer vision problems to protect the long term health of your eyes.

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T: (613) 226-8446
F: (613) 226-1831

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