What is Computer Vision Syndrome 820x410 - What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

The eyes are probably the most important sensory organ. Without the eyes, we cannot see the beauty of the world. There will be plenty of limitations on how we live our life. Thus, it is important to take care of our eyes. According to the World Health Organization, 253 million people in the world have vision impairment. One of these vision problems is the computer vision syndrome (CVS).


Overview of Computer Vision Syndrome

Also called as Digital Eye Strain, the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is acquired from the prolonged use of computers, tablets, smartphones, television, and other digital devices. Computer Vision Syndrome causes too much eye discomfort and vision problems.

Based on the statistics from the American Optometric Association, there are more than 10 million visits to eye doctors for CVS related problems every year. In the 2015 survey by The Vision Council, 65% of the American adults have experienced CVS. If an adult spends more than 2 hours in front of the computer, there is a 90% chance they will develop CVS. In the United States, an American worker spends more than seven hours on the computer. This condition can decrease their work productivity at about 20%.


Signs & Symptoms

There is no direct finding that could prove that computers can cause long-term damages to the eyes. However, computer vision syndrome can really be annoying which can affect your daily productivity. When you have a computer vision syndrome, you may experience:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pains

Other effects may include itching or burning of eyes, tearing, pain in the back, arms, and wrist, and general fatigue.


Causes & Risk Factors

The main reason why computer vision syndrome occurs is that of prolonged exposure to digital devices. On the other hand, there are risk factors that may encourage the development of vision-related symptoms.

  • Uncorrected vision problems (Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, etc.)
  • Viewing distances
  • Poor lighting conditions
  • Eye conditions (dry eyes, sore eyes, conjunctivitis, etc.)
  • Wearing of contact lenses



If the following symptoms occur, it is advised for the individual to immediately seek medical attention. The ophthalmologist or eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye examination. This may include the testing of the visual requirements at the computer and the digital device working distances.

The ophthalmologist will ask for the patient history to determine if the patient is having other health medical problems or medications being taken. The patient will then under visual acuity measurements to assess the health vision. Lastly, there will be tests to evaluate how eyes move and work together.


To avoid the computer vision syndrome, it is important to strictly follow the 20-20-20 rule, especially to those regular computer users. The user must look away from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on something that is 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. While doing this, the user must consistently blink to maintain the moisture in the eyes. The use of eye drops is also recommendable.