Computer Vision Syndrome and What You Need to Know

Whenever a patient comes to Laser Eye Center complaining of eye fatigue and soreness, we ask how often they use digital devices. The reason is that reading text on a computer, tablet or smartphone taxes the eyes in ways that reading a book or magazine does not. Individuals who spend large periods of time using digital devices may be at risk of an ophthalmological condition called computer vision syndrome.

In this post, we share a conversation between one of our ophthalmologists and a patient looking for answers about these symptoms.

Doctor, I’m a busy finance executive who spends hours upon hours poring over emails, trading charts, and Excel spreadsheets. I’ve noticed my eyes feel dry, irritated and sore at the end of most workdays. What’s going on?

Eye dryness and soreness after prolonged periods of time spent looking at a screen are hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Headaches, blurry vision, eye fatigue and difficulty focusing can also suggest computer vision syndrome.

I wear glasses because I am nearsighted. Are my glasses aggravating these symptoms?

Possibly. Our doctors have noticed computer vision syndrome often affects individuals who wear glasses or contacts (particularly those with outdated prescriptions). Sometimes updating the prescription helps quell symptoms.

So the solution could be as easy as updating my prescription? That seems simple enough…

It could. Another option is to explore LASIK to eliminate your need for corrective eyewear and improve the quality of your vision.

However, your prescription may have nothing to do with your symptoms. And not everyone with computer vison syndrome wears glasses or contacts.

What else could be to blame?

A problem with the ocular surface or tear film could be the culprit. If that is the case, there are treatments that may help. A treatment like iLux can treat clogged meibomian glands that disrupt the balance of the tears, while BlephEx can clear from the eyelids bacterial biofilm that interferes with tear production.  Such treatments serve to reduce dry eye and general symptoms arising from excessive screen time.

Is there anything I can do on my own to alleviate symptoms?

While you may not be able to cut down on your use of digital devices — many of us need them for work — you can better manage your time spent staring at screens.

We recommend blinking more (blinking spreads tears across the ocular surface) and taking frequent short breaks from your screen. Try your best to remember to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Set a timer to remind you to look away every 20 minutes at an object that is about 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds. Also, adjust your posture, computer setup and lighting in case poor ergonomics or glare are exacerbating the problem.

Can prolonged screen time permanently damage my eyes?

The short answer is yes! Given that computer vision syndrome can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction, which is a chronic and progressive disease it is absolutely essential to prioritize general eye health and hygiene. The solutions for these include getting perfect, independent vision as well as iLux and BlephEx!!!

Overcome the Discomfort of Computer Vision Syndrome

The first step toward overcoming computer vision syndrome symptoms is to speak with one of our ophthalmologists. We will get to the root of the problem and suggest a customized treatment solution that will work for you. Please call (800) 805-2737 or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment at one of our 12 Los Angeles-area locations.

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Get started on your journey to clearer, crisper vision with Laser Eye Center™. Our expert team of doctors are trained and skilled in the latest technology and methods for laser vision correction. To learn more about our state-of-the-art All Laser LASIK technology or about All Laser LASIK itself, contact us today. Schedule your FREE All Laser LASIK consultation by calling today.