Digital Eyestrain, formerly known as Computer Vision Syndrome, describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing a computer screen for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use.
The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) are
neck and shoulder pain
These symptoms may be caused by:
glare on the computer screen
improper viewing distances
poor seating posture
uncorrected vision problems
a combination of these factors
The extent to which individuals experience visual symptoms often depends on the level of their visual abilities and the amount of time spent looking at the computer screen. Uncorrected vision problems like farsightedness and astigmatism, inadequate eye focusing or eye coordination abilities, and aging changes of the eyes, such as presbyopia, can all contribute to the development of visual symptoms when using a digital device.
Many of the visual symptoms experienced by computer users are only temporary and will decline after stopping computer work. However, some individuals may experience continued reduced visual abilities, such as blurred distance vision, even after stopping work at a computer. If nothing is done to address the cause of the problem, the symptoms will continue to recur and perhaps worsen with future computer use.
Prevention or reduction of the vision problems associated with Digital Eyestrain involves taking steps to control lighting and glare on the computer screen, establishing proper working distances and posture for computer viewing, and assuring that even minor vision problems are properly corrected.
In most cases, symptoms of CVS occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform them. At greatest risk for developing digital eyestrain are those persons who spend two or more continuous hours at a computer every day.