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Computer Vision Syndrome Q & A

What are some of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

Dry eyes, eyestrain, blurry vision, eye fatigue and headaches are among the more common symptoms associated with CVS.

Can CVS cause permanent damage to my eyes?Take a break Rest your eyes

No – computer vision syndrome has not yet been linked to any permanent damage.  

If I wear my normal reading glasses when using the computer, will it help reduce eyestrain and prevent CVS?

Your reading glasses may not be ideally suited for computer use, and may even contribute to your eyestrain issues.  Staring at a computer screen differs from reading a book in a number of ways, including the lighting and the distance between your eyes and what they’re focusing on. Visiting an eye doctor to receive prescribed lenses for prolonged computer use is recommended.

How often do I have to look away from the screen?

You should try to look away from the screen every 15-30 minutes, in order to relax the muscles used for focusing – which contribute to eyestrain if overworked. To remember this important resting practice, many people choose to follow the 20/20/20 Rule: every 20 minutes, you look away from your computer screen and you don’t return your eyes to the screen for 20 seconds; during this resting time, look at an object that’s at least 20 feet away.

When I use the computer or read a book, sometimes my eyes become red. Could this be a sign of computer vision syndrome?

Red or dry eyes is one of the symptoms associated with CVS; though this could also be a sign that your eyes are struggling to focus, and that you may need eyeglasses or a new prescription. It’s best to visit with your eye doctor to determine the cause of the issue.

How should I position my computer when I’m using it?

To guard against any light problems, it’s best to sit directly in front of the computer, and to ensure that the screen is located just below your eye level. Ideally, there should be an arm’s length distance between you and your computer screen. You can make things easier for your eyes by enlarging the size of the text, wiping your screen down to keep it clean, and dimming the lights in the room so they’re not competing with the light from your monitor.