Skip to main content

In today’s digital age, many of us spend countless hours staring at computer screens, tablets, and smartphones – both at work and during our leisure time. While technology has undoubtedly brought convenience and productivity to our lives, it also poses a potential threat to our eye health. If you’re experiencing eye strain, headaches, or blurred vision after prolonged screen time, you may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies for this increasingly common condition.


The Rise of Computer Vision Syndrome


According to a report by the College of Optometrists in the UK, over 60% of office workers experience symptoms of CVS. This condition is characterised by eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain – all of which can significantly impact your productivity and overall well-being.


Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome


Prolonged Screen Time


Staring at digital screens for extended periods can lead to eye strain and fatigue. Our eyes aren’t designed to focus on pixelated images for hours on end, and this constant effort to maintain focus can be taxing on the eye muscles.


Glare and Poor Lighting


Bright overhead lighting, windows, or glossy surfaces can cause glare and reflections on your screen, making it harder for your eyes to focus and increasing the risk of eye strain.


Improper Viewing Distance and Angles


Sitting too close or too far away from your screen, or having it at an awkward angle, can put additional strain on your eyes and neck muscles.


Blue Light Exposure


Digital screens emit blue light, a high-energy portion of the visible light spectrum. Prolonged exposure to blue light can cause eye strain, disrupt sleep patterns, and potentially contribute to age-related macular degeneration.


Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome


Common symptoms of CVS include:


  • Eye strain, fatigue, or discomfort
  • Dry or red eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headaches
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain


If you experience any of these symptoms after prolonged screen time, it’s essential to take steps to address the issue before it worsens.


Combating Computer Vision Syndrome


While CVS is a growing concern, there are several steps you can take to protect your vision and alleviate symptoms:


Follow the 20-20-20 Rule


To reduce eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This simple exercise gives your eyes a much-needed break from the constant focus on digital screens.


Adjust Your Workstation


Ensure that your computer screen is positioned at least an arm’s length away and slightly below eye level. Use a document holder to avoid constantly shifting your gaze between your screen and printed materials.


Invest in Blue Light Glasses


Blue light glasses are designed to filter out a portion of the blue light emitted by digital screens, reducing eye strain and potential long-term damage. Many optometrists recommend wearing these glasses during prolonged screen time.


Blink Frequently


Staring at screens can reduce your blink rate, leading to dry eyes and discomfort. Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently or use artificial tear drops to keep your eyes lubricated.


Take Regular Breaks


Step away from your desk and computer for a few minutes every hour or so. This break allows your eyes to rest and refocus, reducing the strain caused by prolonged screen time.


Consider Ergonomic Adjustments


Proper ergonomics can significantly reduce the risk of CVS and related issues. Invest in adjustable desks, chairs, and monitor stands to ensure your workstation is tailored to your specific needs.


Don’t Ignore the Symptoms


Remember, your vision is precious, and ignoring the symptoms of CVS can lead to long-term eye health issues. If you’re experiencing persistent eye strain, headaches, or other discomforts related to screen time, don’t hesitate to consult with an eye care professional. They can assess your condition, recommend appropriate treatments, and provide personalised solutions to help you maintain optimal vision health while navigating the digital landscape.


Take action today to protect your eyes and ensure a comfortable and productive work environment. Book an appointment with our optometrists to discuss personalised solutions for workplace eye health.

Close Menu

Premier Eyecare

Please call your local practice with any enquiries.

Doncaster – 01302 344569
Barnsley – 01226 742158
Sheffield – 0114 2852696
Rotherham – 01709 379471