Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms & Treatment

Topics: Loss Control

Summary: Prolonged use of digital devices like computers and phones can cause eye and vision-related problems called Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. Treatment includes modifying the lighting, reducing the glare, adjusting your monitor, practicing good posture, following the 20-20-20 rule, blinking, wearing computer glasses and taking breaks. 

How to Recognize Computer Vision Symptoms and Prevent Them

Are you suffering from eye strain from looking a computer or tablet screen? You aren’t alone. The side effects of looking at a screen over eight hours a day has taken a toll on our eyes and how we work. The American Optometric Association reports that optometrists perform approximately 10 million annual eye exams for vision problems related to computer use.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

The American Optometric Association defines Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, as a “group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use.” Individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for long periods of time.

There are many office environmental conditions that impact an individual’s digital eye strain including poor lighting, glare on a digital screen, sitting too close or far from a screen, in-proper posture or even uncorrected vision problems. All or a combination of any of these factors can make the eyes work harder and result in the common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) will vary for each individual and will depend on the amount of time spent in front of a digital screen as well as their current visual abilities. CVS can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, including testing with an emphasis on the visual requirements needed to work on a computer or to view digital screens.

The common symptoms of CVS are:
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
The vision-related symptoms people experience are only temporary and will decline after stopping computer work or use of a digital device. However, some individuals will continue to have visual issues, such as blurred distance vision even after they stop looking at a digital screen. If nothing is done to alleviate the issue, the symptoms will continue to recur and could possibly worsen.

Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment

Depending on the amount of eye strain, there are many solutions to digital screen-related vision problems. Most issues can be alleviated by maintaining regular eye care and taking the steps to adjust the environment in which a person views their screen.

A few tips to reduce eye strain and decrease the risk of CVS include:
  • Modify the Lighting: Good lighting is the best for your eyes. Keep bright overhead lighting to a minimum and keep natural light off to the side rather than directly in front or behind you. Also, desk lighting should be focused on the desk and not on you or the computer screen.
  • Reduce Glare: To reduce glare, get a glare screen. Also, position the computer screen to reduce reflections from windows and overhead lights.
  • Adjust Your Monitor: The computer monitor should be positioned between 24 to 28 inches away from your eyes. The center of the screen should be about four to six inches below your eyes. Adjust the screen contrast and resolution settings for comfortable viewing.
  • Practice Good Posture: Chair height should be adjusted so your feet are flat on the floor. If the chair has arms, they should be adjusted to provide arm support while typing.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Optometrist recommend following the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break from the digital screen to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
  • Blink: To help prevent dry eye, try to blink frequently. Blinking keeps the front surface of the eye moist.
  • Wear Your Computer Glasses: A doctor can prescribe glasses with special lenses that are designed for optimal viewing of computer screens. If necessary, wear the appropriate corrective lenses while working at the computer.
  • Take Longer Breaks When You Can: Get away from all screens during scheduled breaks like lunch, morning or afternoon breaks. Your eyes don’t get a rest if you’re checking emails or texting or using another screen.

Loss Prevention from AmTrust Financial

AmTrust’s Loss Control Department can give you the individual attention you deserve, identifying workplace safety topics and offering solutions that fit your operation. We are dedicated to providing the right recommendations and resources necessary to create the most effective loss prevention program for your organization’s needs. Please contact us to learn more.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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