Computer Vision Syndrome


What a year it has been! As Covid 19 has wrought havoc upon all of our lives in so many ways, recent rays of optimism have begun to shine through. As the world struggles to achieve a new normal it may be time reassess some of our Covid habits… it may be time for a digital detox. Computer Vision Syndrome has risen dramatically in the Covid lockdowns and here are some tips from SoCal Eye Ophthalmology in Long Beach, CA to manage the effects.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

As reliance on technology has spiked over the past 12 months instances of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Digital Eye Strain (DES)have become common place. Some studies have estimated that screen time has risen by as much as 70% and that adults now spend more than 10 hours per day viewing a computer screen, tablet screen or phone screen. Some of the symptoms of CVS and DES may be very familiar:

  • Do you suffer from tired, achy or red eyes?
  • Dry and Itchy or Watery Eyes?
  • Do you suffer from fatigue or drowsiness in the afternoons?
  • Do you experience blurry or inconsistent vision or maybe a muscle tic?
  • Are you getting regular Headaches?
  • Is your neck or back in pain?

It may be time for a digital detox. Here are some ideas and thoughts from SoCal Eye’s Eye Doctors to manage Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain and get some relief.

Take a Break.

While much of our screen time is work related and may not be that easy to put aside, many ‘detoxers’ seek to manage their non-work, recreational time. They consciously take a break from their devices and set strict limits on usage between given hours. Maybe it’s choosing a book over a device, maybe it’s outdoor time, and maybe it’s exercising. Maybe it’s as simple as going outside on your lunch break instead of eating at your desk whilst you’re reading emails.  Nearly half of U.S. smart phone owners have tried to limit their use, according to a survey by Deloitte and taking a break will offer great relief for eye strain and CVS.

Adapt Habits

Try as we might, however, certain circumstances, like work, could prevent a complete power-down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt our habits and avoid the potential effects of digital overexposure.

SoCal Eye doctors recommend trying these tips:

  • Adopt the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset and replenish themselves.
  • Artificial Tears. Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes when they feel dry.
  • Screen Distance is Important. Sit about 25 inches or at arm’s length from your screen and adjust its height so you’re looking slightly downward at it.
  • Reduce Glare and Brightness. Devices with glass screens can cause glare. Reduce overhead light to cut down on glare. Consider a matte screen filter for your device. Adjusting the brightness and contrast of your screen can also help reduce eye strain.
  • Text Sizes: Increase text sizes to add contrast
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water, break out your humidifier or use artificial tears to help when eyes feel dry (we blink 1/2 to 1/3 less while using digital devices)
  • Eyeglass Lenses: Consider Anti-Reflective lenses or computer glasses as these may help too.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain, speak to your doctor at your next eye exam. SoCal Eye recommends annual eye exams to ensure on going eye health. SoCal Eye doctors in Long Beach. Schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020   |   LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728 or send us an Online Consultation Request