Do I have CVS?
More and more the amount of time we spend in front of computers is increasing. This has adverse effects on our eyes. Case in point: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a condition causing uncomfortable or painful, itchy or dry eyes and more. CVS can affect everything from work performance to quality of life. Thankfully, preventative measures can essentially erase symptoms of CVS.
There are two main causes of CVS: Unsuitable environment (screen glare, poor monitor placement, incorrect posture, etc.) and improper use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Prevention of CVS means making changes to improve these conditions.
CVS DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Computer Vision Syndrome can be eliminated with simple environmental and prescription eyewear adjustments.
Suggested environmental changes to eliminate CVS
- Reducing glare and harsh reflections
Ways to reduce computer screen glare include modifying room lighting, adjusting contrast or brightness and/or attaching a filter or hood to the monitor. The goal? Create an environment where the eyes can focus without squinting.
- The visor test helps determine if lighting is a problem
Block light by cupping hands over eyes. Look at monitor. If an improvement is seen, adjust lighting in room accordingly.
- Moving the computer screen
Eye comfort is key. And moving the computer screen to improve eye comfort is an easy way to achieve it. The screen should be at or just beyond arm’s length away and straight in front of the eyes. The center of the monitor should be about four to eight inches lower than the eyes to allow the neck to relax and to lessen the exposed surface area of the eye, which reduces dryness and itching.
Other environmental changes that can improve CVS:
- Keeping reference materials as close to the screen as possible.
- Improving posture while sitting.
- Taking frequent eye and body breaks.
- Finding and improving other issues affecting the eyes (i.e., drafty, dry or poor-quality air).
Suggested eyewear changes to eliminate CVS
Adjustments in Eyeglasses or Contact Lens Prescription
Improving the effectiveness of glasses or contacts is another simple way to eliminate the symptoms of CVS. One of our Sabates Eye Centers optometrists can diagnose the issue and recommend adjustments. Additionally, if another eye disease is the cause of certain symptoms, our doctors can recommend appropriate treatment options.
Eyeglasses should sit properly on the face. The optical center of each lens should be directly in front of the eyes. When glasses slip down, it shifts the optical center, decreasing the power of the lenses, blurring vision and creating eyestrain. To prevent slippage, adjust frames or see one of our Sabates Eye Centers optical center technicians for a refit.
- Bifocal, trifocal, and specialized glasses
Those who use specialized optical aids are more prone to CVS-related symptoms. To reduce symptoms, the height of a bifocal may need to be raised, the power of the lenses may need to be adjusted, or special glasses designed specifically for computer use may need to be prescribed.
Contact Lens Solutions
Dry, itchy eyes are common computer vision symptoms for contact lens wearers. This is because computer use results in a dramatic decrease in blinking. The solution for many is a simple one: blink more often. If frequent blinking does not eliminate dryness and itching, see a Sabates Eye Centers optometrist who can prescribe specialized eye drops.