Are You Experiencing Computer Eye Strain Symptoms?

Computer Eye Strain

Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end has become a normal thing in this day and age. It is stated that we spend a minimum of 50 hours a week on the computer. The amount of time spent in front of the computer can eventually takes its toll on your eyes and your vision. When we stare at a computer screen, ironically our eyes must work harder to see objects that are closer rather than further away to keep the contents visible, straining our eye muscles. It is actually easier for us to view things that are far away. Reading close range makes our eyes have to work harder to keep things in focus and can result in headaches, computer eye strain and blurred vision.

Screen induced eye strain has an official name: Computer Vision Syndrome. Some of computer vision syndrome symptoms include:

  • Eye fatigue

  • Burning and itchy eyes

  • Blurred vision

  • Sensitivity to bright light

  • Dry eyes

  • Neck and shoulder pain


Now, what makes our eyes hurt from computer usage? The issues have been reduced to these listed key factors:

  • Blinking – when you are looking at a computer screen, you tend to blink a lot less than if you were reading a printed piece of paper. This is because when you are using a computer you tend to stare, and staring means less blinking giving your eyes less moisture. Every time you blink you are spreading tears over your entire eye, giving your eye more moisture. The less you blink the drier and more sore your eyes become.

  • Angle – When you read from a book or a printed sheet of paper your head is tilted down versus reading on a computer screen where you are looking straight ahead. When you are facing straight ahead your eyelids have less coverage over your eyes, leaving your eyes exposed to the drying effect of air.

  • Distance – When you read, whether it be your computer or smart phone screen, you tend to hold the device closer to your eyes or move closer to the computer screen to read. This puts your eye position closer than if you were reading a traditional book or printed page. Because of this, your eyes have to work much harder to keep objects in focus the closer the object is. Your eyes turn inward more which takes exhausting effort for your eyes.

A few additional causes include:

  • Poor lighting

  • Glares on the screen

  • Poor seating posture

  • Uncorrected vision problems

The extent of symptoms depends on each individual, their level of vision abilities, the amount of time spent looking at a computer screen, uncorrected vision problems such as, farsightedness and astigmatism. People with even minor vision problems can affect comfort and performance at a computer screen. If uncorrected can lead to further eye strain from computer use.

Notably, people who wear eyeglasses or contacts may find the viewing distances of their computer uncomfortable. Holding your head at odd angles because your glasses are not designed for looking at computer screens or bending forward toward the screen to see more clearly can result in not only poor posture but muscle spasms and pain in the neck or back.

People who are more at risk are those who spend 2 or more continuous hours at a computer screen. If you spend that amount of time or more at your computer, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to maintain your eyesight and to prevent headaches and other symptoms. If you’re seeking eyesight guidance contact our Eye Surgery Clinic in Atlanta GA.


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