Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome has become an epidemic. The majority of people in the world now own some sort of device which is stared at for more than 1 hour a day. It did not used to be like this. Thus more and more patients are having one or more of the below symptoms. These symptoms can lead to chronic pain if untreated. 

Computer-related Vision Symptoms and Common Diagnoses
Symptom Category Symptoms Diagnosis
Asthenopic Eyestrain Binocular vision
Tired eyes Accommodation
Sore eyes Dry Eye Syndrome (DE/DES)
Ocular surface–related Dry eyes Dry Eye Syndrome
Watery eyes Dry Eye Syndrome
Irritated eyes Dry Eye Syndrome
Contact lens problems Dry Eye Syndrome
Visual Blurred vision Refractive error
Slowness of focus change Accommodation
Double vision Diplopia usually due to DES
Decreased ability to read close Presbyopia
Extraocular Neck pain Presbyopic correction
Back pain Computer screen location


Shoulder pain
Head Pain

Sadness, irritability
Increased worry; increased fear

Headache, Migraines

Multiple causes

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is diagnosed when a patient has  one or more of the above ocular complaints as a result of operating a computer and looking at a computer monitor for 3 or more hours per day. is generally referred to as “Computer Vision Syndrome” (CVS) is a repetitive strain disorder with studies estimating that 90% of the 70 million U.S. workers using computers have CVS and this percentage continues to rise. 
Non-ocular symptoms include headaches, pain in the shoulders, neck, or back. As diverse as the symptoms are, they may be related and can be subdivided into to three potential pathophysiological causes: 
1) Ocular surface mechanisms: studies have shown that people blink less or not fully when staring at something, especially the computer or device. This decreases the ability of the eylids to lubricate the cornea and contract the muscle of Riolan located around each Meibomian Gland that milks out a bit of oil into the tear film with each FULL BLINK. If one does not fully blink, the oil is not pushed out/milked out and the Meibomian Glands begin to get backed up. When the Meibomian Glands get backed up, they begin to dilate and then atrophy: scar tissue starts to form and the die and disappear forever. It is a terrible thing as these precious Meibomian Glands prevent one for ever feeling their eye and their loss can lead to chronic eye pain. I see it every day in my office and it can be debilitating. 
2) Accommodative mechanisms
3) Extraocular mechanisms. 

Best Treatments:
A multidirectional approach combining ocular therapy with adjustment of your workstation are needed.

The following have been shown to be the most helpful to decrease symptoms. 

1. Proper lighting
2. Anti-glare filters, 
3. Ergonomic positioning of computer monitor
4. Regular work breaks may help improve visual comfort: close your eyes everytime you load a new page. Take a full blink or hard blink ever 5-15 minutes.
Wash your face with warm/hot water at every bathroom break trying to gentle massage your close eyelids at the base of the eye lashes and take extra hard blinks after applying the warm water: or use a warm towel to put on your eyelids even for a few seconds. 

5. Lubricating eye drops
6. Be sure to check your glasses Rx every year. 
7. Special computer glasses also help relieve ocular surface–related symptoms. 

Computers, iphones, ipads, cellphones have become an irreplaceable necessity in our lives at work and home. That is becoming true for our kids as well. I tell all my patients who are children that if they are trying to become a doctor, lawyer, scientist, president, or cure cancer, they can uses devices as needed. But if they are facebooking, playing video games, checking news, gossip, they are wasting one of the most precious gifts we were given: non-painful eyes and vision. Do not take it for granted. Stop the devices unless truly needed!

Shopping Cart