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Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a temporary condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer display for protracted, uninterrupted periods. Some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions (ie. bright overhead lighting or glare) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan). CVS has not been proven to cause any permanent damage to the eye.

CVS is caused by decreased blinking reflex while working long hours focusing on computer screens. The normal blink rate in human eyes is 16–20 per minute. Studies have shown that the blink rate decreases to as low as 6–8 blinks/minute for persons working on the computer screen. This leads to dry eyes. Also, the near focusing effort required for such long hours puts strain on ciliary muscles of the eye. This induces symptoms of asthenopia and leads to a feeling of tiredness in the eyes after long hours of work. Some patients present with inability to properly focus on near objects after a short duration. This can be seen in people aged around 30–40 years of age, leading to a decrease in the accommodative focusing mechanisms of the eye. This can be a setting for early presbyopia.

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