Can you heal computer vision syndrome?

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

Whilst almost everything you need can be done in just a few clicks, too much screen time without moderation can also cause computer vision syndrome. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and manage computer vision syndrome without having to sacrifice your tech bundle.

What is computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a common condition that affects those who spend too much time looking at screens. Although anyone can develop digital eye strain, it is more common among those who:

  • Work with computers
  • Spend lots of time looking at their phone (i.e. whilst commuting)
  • Watch television most evenings
  • Do not allow enough sleep whilst regularly doing all of the above

Just like the rest of our bodies, our eyes need regular breaks to recover from the strain that we put on them just by partaking in normal everyday activities such as reading from our screens.

What causes computer vision syndrome?

In technical terms, when our eye muscles become fixed on one object for a long period, they become strained. Focussing on a screen for a long period of time can also significantly reduce the number of times you blink, which may result in a lack of moisture within the eye.

If you wear contact lenses and spend lots of time looking at screens, you are also more likely to develop dry eyes along with digital eye strain.

What are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

Many eye conditions are difficult to spot without the help of your optician. However, if you spend a lot of time in front of a digital screen and you’re experiencing the following, it may be a sign of computer vision syndrome:

However, it is also possible that these symptoms are a sign of another condition, which is why it is important to seek advice from an optician if you are experiencing these symptoms.

How do you treat digital eye strain?

Fortunately, computer vision syndrome isn’t a serious condition and can be treated fairly easily by incorporating a few mindful techniques into your daily routine.

20-20-20 rule

Not only is this one of the best ways to treat computer vision syndrome, but it’s also one of the best ways to prevent it. The general rule is every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will give your eyes the break they need to prevent digital eye strain.

Position your computer screen

Your eyes should be in line with a point on the screen – around 5-10 cm below the top edge of the monitor. The centre of the screen should be around 17-18 degrees below eye level. This will put less strain on your eyes, giving you the best field of view.

Adjust your screen brightness

If your screen is too bright, this could be uncomfortable for your eyes. However, this doesn’t mean your screen brightness should be turned all the way down as this can also make it difficult to see and cause eye strain. Adjust the screen brightness according to your comfort.

Blink more often

Although it might sound obvious, blinking is actually an underrated way to keep your eyes hydrated. Staring at your screen may result in less blinking as we tend to blink less when we are concentrating, but if you ensure you are getting those blinks in, you may well avoid computer vision syndrome.

Use eye drops

Incorporate eye drops into your daily routine if you are experiencing eye strain. We have a range of eye drops for you to choose from, including our most popular comfi soothe eye drops.

Blue light glasses

Blue light glasses could potentially reduce the symptoms of digital eye strain and they could help your eyes feel less tired at the end of the day.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Blue light isn’t necessarily harmful, most of the blue light we absorb comes from the sun. When we’re exposed to this kind of light it makes us feel more awake, which is brilliant for the daytime. When it comes to the evening though, try to limit your exposure to screens and artificial light so your sleep isn’t disrupted.

Shop our range of blue light glasses, it couldn’t be easier:

  1. Choose the glasses frame
  2. Select ‘Buy with Blue Light Lenses’
  3. Choose what you will use your glasses for, reading, distance, intermediate or non-prescription
  4. Enter your prescription or select 'send later'
  5. Choose your lens package and coating
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