Eyes on Eye Care  

Computer Vision Syndrome

The evolution of technology has brought us to an era of many portable electronic devices. Many of our daily tasks have moved from print on paper to the internet. This has made it almost impossible to avoid these portable electronic devices. Even though technology has made our life easier, computers and smartphones can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome.


Risk factors for Computer Vision Syndrome include:

  • How close you sit to your computer or device
  • The length of time spent in front of the computer. Certain activities take longer than others.
  • Reduced Blinking
  • Dry Eyes
  • Uncorrected Vision Problems


Common signs and symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:

  • Dry Eyes, which can lead to red, irritated eyes
  • Intermittent blurred vision when viewing your screen or device
  • Blurred distance vision when looking away from your screen or device
  • Headaches
  • Neck and/or back pain


How to reduce the risk of Computer Vision Syndrome:

1.  Get a comprehensive eye exam

Your Optometrist can find out if you require glasses for the computer. He/she can also recommend an anti-glare tint to reduce reflections from the computer devices.

2.  Use proper lighting

Your ambient lighting should be about as bright as that typically found in most offices. Light entering through windows should be eliminated with the use of curtains. Alternatively, make sure the outdoor lighting is not directly in front of or behind your computer device.

3.  Minimize Glare by placing an anti-glare screen on your monitor.

4.  Upgrade your display to an LCD. Older CRT displays cause a ‘flicker’

5.  Adjust your computer display settings:

  • Brightness should be the same as the brightness of your surroundings
  • Black font on a white background is the most comfortable
  • Reducing the color temperature so that less blue light is emitted will also help.

6.  Blink more often

  • When we concentrate on computer screens, we blink significantly less, causing our eyes to become very dry.

7.  Exercise your eyes

  • Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away, and stare at the object for at least 20 seconds

8.  Modify your workstation

  • Position your screen approximately 20 inches from your eyes, approximately 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes
  • Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height

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About the Author

Dr. Sunil Parekh is originally from Kamloops, B.C. He attended Optometry School in London, England. During his time there he gained experience from Moorfields Eye Hospital and Queen Alexandria Hospital. After graduating, Dr. Parekh worked in the UK for a year and took part in a friend's charity called 'Eye for India'. Sunil travelled with a group of friends to Calcutta, India for their first mission and provided eye exams and glasses. Dr. Parekh always wanted to move back to B.C, and decided to make the beautiful Okanagan his home with his wife.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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