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Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the complex of eye and vision
problems related to near work that are experienced during or related
to computer use. CVS is characterized by visual symptoms which result
from interaction with a computer display or its environment. In most
cases, symptoms occur because the visual demands of the task
exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform the task.

Symptoms often include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and other
symptoms of eyestrain. These symptoms may be caused by poor lighting, glare, an improper work station set-up, vision problems of which the person was not previously aware, or a combination of these factors.

Some people hold their head at an odd angle because their glasses are not designed for looking at a computer. Or they bend toward the screen because they need a vision correction. These postures can result in muscle spasms or pain in the neck, shoulders or back.

Anyone who spends more than a few hours at a computer each day needs to consult an optometrist for a thorough eye examination whether they are having difficulties or not. Computer users should describe their work center to the optometrist so he or she can make suggestions for correcting trouble spots that could be contributing to computer vision syndrome.

Solutions to computer vision problems are varied depending on the person's needs. The optometrist may prescribe single-vision, multifocal or special computer glasses for some people. Contact lenses might be an option for others. But there is no such thing as over-the-counter, "one size fits all" computer glasses. Computer glasses must be designed for the individual.

Several lenses are made specifically for computer users. Most are no-line multifocals with a wide area for viewing the computer in the upper portion of the lens, and an area for close work, like looking at the keyboard, in the lower portion. They don't correct distance vision as well as lenses for general wear and, therefore, are limited to use at the computer.

Source: AOA