What Is Computer Vision Syndrome? Eye Strain Relief Tips

What is Computer Eye Strain?

Notably, with the rise in the competitive cloud computing edge, computer eye strain can be troublesome.

For instance, I spend almost half of my day behind a computer or mobile gadget. Working myself tirelessly and clocking both my scheduled timelines, brain and even eyes capacity.

Of course, with so much to do behind these computerized, and glass light enabled gadgets, computer eye strain comes handy.

Even though this topic sounds unfamiliar, to some, it is a risk worth a few minutes of their precious time. Especially, with consideration to our revised scientific proven and holistic practiced methods. That could be a lifesaver to you are even someone close to you.

Important to realize, on this exclusive blog, we’ll discuss Asthenopia or Asthenopic (eye strain). Whereby, symptoms in the eye are responsible for much of the severity in CVS (Computer Eye Strain).

Digital or Computer Eye Strain
Digital eye strain, also referred to as computer vision syndrome is the physical discomfort that follows after prolonged computer use.

As you will find out, proper rest to the eye and its muscles is recommended to relieve the associated eye strain.

In addition, observations from persons experiencing chronic eye strain have shown that most people who claim to be getting enough sleep are actually not.

This, unaware to them, causes the eye strain to build up over a period of time. As to when or if they had simply obtained seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, the answer is on the beholder.

For one thing, their eye muscles would have recovered during the sleep and the strain would not have built up.

What are the Symptoms of a Computer Eye Strain?

It seems everyone is staring at a computer screen, phone or other digital devices these days.

And it’s causing a serious problem called digital or computerized eye strain. In reality, symptoms of computer vision syndrome include;

  • eye fatigue and discomfort,
  • dry eyes,
  • headaches,
  • blurred vision,
  • neck and shoulder pain, 
  • eye twitching
  • and red eyes

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device.

Especially, for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time and the eye muscles being unable to recover from the strain due to a lack of adequate sleep.

As can be seen, from the above list, some symptoms of CVS include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigueeye strain, dry eyes, irritated eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, polyopia, and difficulty refocusing the eyes.

These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper room and computer gadgets lighting conditions (i.e. glare, strong blue-spectrum backlights, or bright overhead lighting).

Or even, air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan).

Digital and Computer Eye Strain
Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of Paper — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

How do you Prevent Computer Eye Strain?

There’s a high chance that if you’re reading this, you work on a computer for most, if not all of the day.

Even if you don’t, there’s still a high chance you’re looking at a screen of some kind for the majority of the day. And that makes you tired.

More specifically, it makes your eyes tired. Which them stresses the rest of your body. It’s likely a cycle we all know a little too well.

Below, I have steps, however, that can alleviate and even prevent this kind of computer eye strain.

So that your job and habits don’t have to negatively impact your overall well-being quite so much.

1. Prevent Computer Eye Strain by Blinking Often

Okay, so the actual solution is a little more complicated than that, but in the end, blinking more often can really help prevent eye strain.

Even those minute flashes where you’re eyes are covered give your brain a chance to rest.

And that time adds up over the day. It’s literally why when you’re strained and stressed that you can simply close your eyes and feel an almost immediate sense of relief.

For sure, you can actually tell your boss “I’m just resting my eyes, not sleeping at work” and not be lying!

Additionally, blinking keeps your eyes lubricated. Not blinking means that your eyes will dry out more often.

If that’s something that you’ve noticed bothering you, get some eye drops to keep at your desk to moisturize them often.

While that is just treating a symptom of the eye strain rather than rooting out a cause, relief is a relief.

Unless you’re sure that you can consciously make yourself blink more often than you normally would (spoiler: you can’t), you need to make a few changes in your workstation and habits.

While change can be hard, making these changes won’t be.

They’re both simple and easy. Many of the other tips will cause you to blink more often as a by-product, eliminating multiple stressors at once.

2. Are Fonts Types Source of your Computer Eye Strain?

If you’re a content creator or web developer, you probably know that what font you choose makes a drastic impact on how much eye strain you endure.

Many font families are not ideal for constant and repeated use.

What looks great in a screenshot or is fine for a 3-minute-read article might not work for an 8-hour shift of programming or writing.

Choosing a font other than Arial or Helvetica (blasphemy, we know) might make more of a difference than you know.

The kerning, spacing and even shape of various fonts can increase readability and make it so that you don’t have to work as hard to decipher the characters.

As an example, Fonts such as Fira Code, Consolas, and Monoid are designed specifically for long-term usage, legibility, and prevention of eye strain.

On top of that, color and size (both independently and in concert) can be one of the largest factors of preventing eye strain.

If you have a high-resolution monitor, there’s a good chance that your default font size is pretty small.

On top of that, a lot of what you’re reading online and in other places might be low-contrast (light text on a light background). When this is the case, our eyes have to work overtime.

So to fix that, you don’t have to lower the resolution of your screen. No one wants you to give up your screen real estate.

Instead, increase the default font sizes in your OS, your code editor, and adjust different web pages in your browser to accommodate larger text. (Usually, CTRL/CMD and +/- will do the trick.)

3. What is your Computer’s Screen Source Resolution?

As a matter of fact, most consumer and user-based gadgets come with a manual guide preference. Although, this one’s tough for some people, us included.

Whether it’s a phone screen, laptop, or the circle of computer monitors you have around you, the brightness is probably way too high.

While doing so absolutely makes the colors pop and the whole experience generally much more aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, it also strains your eyes at an accelerated rate. You will need to find the balance of brightness that works for you. If the monitors are like lamps in a darkened room, you might have a problem.

But if you’re straining to see and the OS appears dim and dull, you’ve gone too far the wrong way. Once you find the right brightness, though, your eyes will be much better off.

Also, if your office or workspace has fluorescent lighting that reflects off of your monitor, you can get screens and filters that you can affix to it so that you can eliminate external brightness and glare, too.

4. Embrace the Dark and Reader Mode Aspects

You also have access to Dark Mode in a lot of apps to make reading easier and adjusts the brightness on a software level. MacOS and iOS even have them built-in.

This gives you a darker, less-bright screen with a decent contrast ratio of lighter text on darker backgrounds.

It’s easier on the eyes in both daytimes and in darker environments. We highly suggest working this way.

Dark mode has saved everyone at Elegant Themes a lot of money on headache medicine over the years.

You can also try programs like Dark Reader to make any website or app appear in dark mode, whether they support it natively or not.

Also, most browsers (mobile and desktop) have a “reader” mode where the text size, font, and color palette are adjustable with other non-essential elements not rendered.

Take advantage of these tools. Your eyes will thank you.

5. Do you put into Considerations your Seating Posture?

Where you are in relation to your screenplays a pretty big role in eye strain, too. Not to mention muscle strain and shoulder/neck aches. You want to be looking at your monitor front-on at eye level. Or, well, slightly below.

You shouldn’t have to look up or down to see it. Your neck should be neutral. Keep this in mind when working on a laptop because you’re going to have your head tilted down a lot of the time.

Not only is this bad for your posture, but most screens also have a slightly different look from various angles. Colors shift a little, glare hits it differently, and so on.

You will also want to make sure you’re the right distance away from your monitor. You ideally want to be between 20 and 27 inches away from your screen. It differs from person to person because of monitor size and setup.

Generally, though, you want to be able to just reach out and touch the screen with the tip of your finger from your neutral sitting position.

If you keep it at this distance, you should be able to take the entire screen into view and not have to search all around for points of interest, saving your eyes motion and wear.

Sitting too close to the screen won’t make you go blind, unlike what our parents told us when we were kids, but it can make your eyes work overtime. And that leads to easily preventable eyestrain.

6. What Effects does the Blue Light has on you Eyes?

While the jury (read: science) is out on just what effect blue light has on your health and eyes and sleep, the evidence does point toward limiting your exposure to it as being good for your eyes.

Most phones these days have a “night mode” which effectively adjusts the color temperature of the screen after certain hours.

You can generally adjust them for any hours or intensity that works for you. It may seem a little odd warming up your screen’s overall tone.

But, definitely, you get used to it quickly, and it does make long hours of looking at the screen easier and less taxing.

Additionally, there are blue-light filters that you can hook to your monitor like the anti-glare ones we mentioned above.

You can buy special “computer glasses” that supposedly filter out the light, too, which are fine if you wear contacts or don’t need glasses.

For those who need prescription lenses, however, you can ask your eye center about getting the lenses covered in an anti-blue light coating that does the same thing.

And bonus, sometimes that coating even makes your eyes flash purple to some people. (No kidding. It’s very surreal for them.)

7. Is Diet a Factor in Computer Eye Strain?

Eye strain might not sound like a big deal, but anyone who deals with it can tell you just how intrusive it can be.

If you have never experienced it from spending too much time in front of a screen, consider yourself lucky.

But be proactive about making sure that you don’t. And if you’re a constant sufferer like many of us, it only takes a little effort and a few tweaks to make some high-quality adjustments.

Especially, from the diet intake to the factors above illustrated. Not forgetting, that will make a big difference in your overall well-being.

People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, coppervitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent.

This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene; the study found that certain combinations may work better than others.

Further studies agree that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health.

Summing Up,

Whether it is your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for an extended period of time.

As screen time increases at home or in the office, so do symptoms.

From dry eyes and headaches, to shoulder and neck pain as well as blurred vision, the extent to which an individual will experience visual symptoms often depends on their level of visual ability.

And also, the amount of time spent looking at a digital screen.

In fact, uncorrected vision problems like farsightedness, astigmatism, inadequate eye focusing or eye coordination and changes in the eyes due to aging, can all contribute to the development of visual symptoms when using a computer or digital screen.

Additional References;

Therefore, it is my hope that; from the above-revised article, you’ll play safe. Particularly, around your digital and computerized gadgets.

In general, this article is still open for more contributions and additions.

In that case, to make it as useful and as related to me, you or even someone else out there suffering in silence.

Please, feel free to Contact Us or even share your thoughts in the comments box below this post.

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