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Computer Vision Syndrome
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Computer Vision Syndrome

Dr's,

Thank you for giving us your time to answer our questions.

I work on websites for a living.  I recently heard a term "computer vision syndrome".  Can you point me in the direction of what this is and being that computers are my living, what I can do to prevent this?
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You can ask your doctor to give you a prescription for "computer vision." Its a little bit farther than normal reading glasses, but not distance vision. It can help a lot!
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Computer vision symdrome is a term optometrists coined and push and is largely a vehicle to sell "computer glasses". It's not a real disease nor is there an ICD-9 code for it.

Computers do not damage the eye, they can tire the eye much like standing on your legs all day make your legs tired.


JCH MD
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Thanks Dr Hagan!  Last thing we need is another vision problem.  :)
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I strongly disagree with your assessment doctor! Most of my patients are computer workers and the degree to which they get eyestrain from this varies widely. I do testing to evaluate focusing ability and some few patients do benefit from reading glasses. The majority of patients with Computer Vision Syndrome, however, have poor ergonomics, or most often, dry eyes. Surely you have seen the studies which show that people using LCD screens blink about a third as frequently as those doing other near tasks? This leads to evaporative issues. Some patients will do just fine by obeying the 20/20/20 rule (take a twenty second eye break looking at something 20 feet away for every 20 minutes at the computer), but by the time most of these come to my office, this is insufficient. As a severe dry eye patient, I get sore watery eyes within a few minutes of staring at my computer. I do not over diagnose this or glasses. I do not steal from my patients by over prescribing!
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