Do you feel as though you always seem to have a headache? Is it getting harder to see clearly? If you are experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms, you may have Computer Vision Syndrome.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is an uncomfortable condition that could cause headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms could be caused from poor lighting and staring at a computer screen. Harvey Moscot, a New York City–based optometrist, has said if a person spends more than two hours staring at a screen, whether it is an e-book, a smart phone, or a laptop, CVS could occur. The optometrist goes on to say “Apple’s iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook-Color, have a backlit LCD screen, similar to a computer monitor.” With screens similar to a computer how could these e-readers be healthy and enjoyable for one to read from?
People with lower visual abilities and have impairments such as astigmatisms, farsightedness, trouble with focusing eyes, and presbyopia, are more susceptible to facing issues when constantly reading from a computer screen.
So what causes CVS? Reading from computer screens causes more work for a person’s eyes. Often, text on a computer or any digital tablet’s screen is not as clear and defined as a printed page, contrast of letters to the background is reduced, and glares on the screen could make reading a struggle. Therefore, reading from a digital screen is different and more difficult than to read from a printed page.
Dr. Robert Staples, optometrist at Texas Tech Physicians-Eye Clinic, explains how even a person’s blinking affects CVS. “Through the development of more high-tech gadgets from iPhones, iPads, e-books, video games and laptops to desk computers, most people are spending more time staring at a screen. That stare down is causing many to suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome… Reading something on a computer screen is different than reading a newspaper or magazine… When a person is using a device like a computer or phone, they tend to be extremely concentrated on that object. Typically a person blinks 15 times a minute. When staring at a screen, we decrease our blinking to about twice a minute, causing eye problems.”
Left untreated, CVS could cause reoccurring pain, further eye issues, and blurred vision. Doctors estimate that nearly 80 million people in the U.S. could have CVS. Printed items have greater contrasts from text and backgrounds, while electronic screens are more difficult to bring into focus and require more effort.
Do not be a victim and included in this number. Read print and avoid the risk of eye problems caused by e-books and other digital devices. Reconsider giving e-books as presents this holiday season. Follow The P.A. Hutchison Company and give a book; they are enjoyable to read, and do not cause vision disorders.