What Is Computer Vision?

Understanding computer vision syndrome and how it affects your health, is more crucial now than ever before. In our digital age, where screens have become an integral part of our lives, the risk of developing this syndrome has drastically increased.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related issues that result from prolonged computer use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of digital screen use.

One of the primary causes of computer vision syndrome is poor lighting. Working under inadequate illumination or glare on your computer screen can strain your eyes, leading to discomfort and eye problems. Other causes include improper viewing distance, poor seating posture, uncorrected vision problems, or a combination of these factors.

Unlike printed characters, digital characters are made up of pixels, which are brightest at the center and diminish in intensity towards the edges. This can make it more challenging for your eyes to maintain focus on these characters, thereby contributing to the strain and discomfort associated with computer vision syndrome.

Recognizing the Symptoms

The most common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, and eye strain. Headaches and blurred vision are typically a result of the excessive strain on the eyes. Dry eyes can occur due to reduced blinking while staring at the screen. Neck and shoulder pain can arise from the poor posture during prolonged computer use.

These symptoms can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience only one of these symptoms, while others may experience a combination of these. It's important to note that these symptoms can cause significant discomfort and can interfere with your work performance if left unaddressed.

Preventive Measures

One of the simplest ways to prevent this syndrome is to ensure you take regular breaks from your screen. The 20-20-20 guideline is a common recommendation, which suggests that after every 20 minutes of screen time, you should take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away.

Adjusting the lighting in your workspace to decrease glare on your screen can also make a significant difference. Additionally, maintaining an appropriate distance from your screen, improving your seating posture, and correcting any vision problems can further help prevent computer vision syndrome.

When to See an Optometrist

Even after taking preventive measures, if your symptoms persist, it may be time to see an optometrist. An optometrist can conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine if you are suffering from computer vision syndrome.

During this examination, the optometrist will assess your eye health, measure your visual abilities, and evaluate your level of discomfort while using a computer. Based on these evaluations, the optometrist can provide personalized treatment recommendations to alleviate your symptoms.


Understanding what computer vision syndrome is, recognizing its causes and symptoms, and knowing when to see an optometrist are all crucial aspects of managing this syndrome effectively.

Take proactive steps to protect your eyes from the strain and discomfort associated with computer vision syndrome. If you experience persistent symptoms, schedule an eye exam with our professionals at North Shore Eye Health and Wellness in our Cedarburg, Wisconsin, office. Call (262) 421-4412 to book an appointment today.

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