If you are reading this blog, you likely spend several hours a day looking at digital screens: smart phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. In fact, it is almost impossible not to spend a significant amount of time on these various screens in your daily life. Since “screen time” is increasing, we have also noticed an increase in dry eye syndrome. This relationship has given rise to a newer form of dry eye that is sometimes called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
CVS, also referred to as Digital Eye Strain(DES), is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use.
The most common symptoms associated with CVS or DES are:
- blurred vision
- dry eyes
- neck and shoulder pain
These symptoms may be caused by:
- poor lighting
- glare on a digital screen
- improper viewing distances
- poor seating posture
- uncorrected vision problems
- prolonged periods without blinking
- a combination of these factors
The best way to help alleviate bothersome symptoms of CVS and help improve your vision with long screen time is to have a good regiment of warm compresses, eyelid scrubs, oral Omega 3s, and artificial tear drops. Taking a 20 second break from your screen every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away (the 20-20-20 rule) can really help these symptoms as well.
Priya V. Desai, MD, MBA
Medical & Surgical Glaucoma
Comprehensive Ophthalmology & Cataracts
Matossian Eye Associates