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Computer vision syndrome is an increasingly common problem among working professionals. With so many people spending 8 hours or more per day in front of a computer, it's no wonder that cases of computer vision syndrome are on the rise. The best way to protect your eyes from this condition is to learn the causes and how to treat the symptoms.

What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is described by the Doctors of Optometry Canada as a vision-related problem caused by prolonged use of computer monitors. Many people who experience computer vision syndrome are people who work with computers for their jobs, and who therefore spend a great deal of time in front of the computer several days per week. Computer vision syndrome may be caused by the following:

  • Computer glare
  • Poor lighting
  • Untreated farsightedness or astigmatism
  • Aging eyes
  • Inappropriate computer viewing distances

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

There are a variety of problems that cause computer vision syndrome, but at its core, the problem is that viewing a computer screen takes extra effort. Reading the words on a computer screen is not as easy as reading written words on a paper. This is because the words on a computer screen may not be as sharply defined, and because computer viewing distances are different from paper viewing distances.

Basically, it is more difficult to focus the eyes on a computer screen for long periods of time than it is to look at paper or book for long periods of time. This is true even for people with corrective eyewear, like glasses or contact lenses.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Blurry vision

These symptoms only worsen as the condition goes untreated.

How is Computer Vision Syndrome Treated?

Computer vision syndrome is usually treated by changing computer viewing habits and by receiving regular vision care from an experienced eye doctor. Many optometrists recommend sitting at the computer in such a way that the computer is an appropriate distance from the face, and by positioning the computer so that the screen is slightly below the level of the eyes. Making lighting adjustments to reduce glare on the computer screen helps as well.

In some cases, eye glasses may be prescribed. Some eye glasses come with special coatings on the lenses that can minimize the effects of computer vision syndrome.

If eye coordination or focusing is the issue, vision therapy may also be prescribed. This type of therapy trains the eyes and brain to work together as a team, improving coordination. If therapy is necessary, eye exercises will be assigned to the person suffering from the condition.

Optometrists diagnose computer vision syndrome by asking lifestyle questions and performing an eye exam. Once a case has been diagnosed, the optometrist will create a customized refraction specific to the workplace tasks that the patient performs.

People seeking optometrists in Maple Ridge who can diagnose this problem are encouraged to make an appointment at Maple Ridge Eye Care in Maple Ridge, BC. Our experienced professionals are ready to help.