Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

As more and more people all over the world use computers for long hours, many people are discovering that it causes problems like red eyes, tiredness, etc.

What are the symptoms of computer vision syndrome?

Eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, and difficulty refocusing. It can also cause headaches, fatigue, and neck and shoulder discomfort.

Why does it happen?

There are two main components of the syndrome

  1. The eyes use muscles to accommodate – to focus on near objects. Our cavemen ancestors used their eyes more for distance – to hunt, to detect danger. It is only in recent history that we have so much near work – reading, desk work, computer work. The ciliary muscles were not made for such prolonged contraction and get fatigued. We have more difficulty trying to focus on the letters on the computer screens which are made up of fuzzy-edged pixels than printed material whose letters have sharp contrast. Young people who have a very small eye no. may be able to do all other work without glasses but may find difficulty in computer work. As we approach the age of 40, the ciliary muscles start weakening – that’s when everybody needs reading glasses. We need computer glasses as well.
  2. The other component of CVS is dry eye. Normally we blink 16-20 times per minute. This blinking spreads tears over the front of the eyes and keeps them comfortable. When we are staring at the computer the blink rate can go as low as 6-8 times per minute. This causes dry spots and a gritty sensation.


To relax the muscles of accommodation, follow the 20-20-20 rule.
Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Blink more often, consciously. Check your vision. Close each eye in turn and look at a clock or a calendar about 20 feet away. If there is any difference in clarity between the two eyes you probably need to wear glasses. Check that the level of the computer monitor is below your eye level so that you have to look down. This is better as the eyes do not get dry very soon. Flax seeds (they are known as ‘alsi’ in Hindi) can help treat dry eyes. Roast one teaspoon, chew them properly and drink 2 glasses of water – every day.


If you still have symptoms after following these rules, you need to see us. We will do special tests to assess the CVS and treat the condition.

The consultation for CVS will include

  • A complete eye exam.
  • Prescription of computer glasses.
  • Test for tear film quality and treatment with eye drops if necessary.
  • Advice about exercises and workstation ergonomics.

Dr. Jagruti Desai ( M.S. Ophthalmology )

Oculus eye hospital
Tel. 9820094152, 9819983158

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