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Neck Pain & Eye Pain From Using the Computer: The CVS Syndrome

Posted Apr 09 2010 12:00am
Computer eye strain Don't run out to your local CVS to find out about the "CVS Syndrome". It stands for computer vision syndrome. If you are reading my blog today, are a chronic texter , or use the computer often, chances are you have experienced this at some point.

What is the CVS Syndrome? It's a new term that eye care professionals are using to explain eye strain symptoms that are common among office workers and computer users. CVS is a temporary condition that comes from focusing on a computer screen for long, uninterrupted periods. Symptoms include
  • blurry vision
  • neck pain
  • tiredness
  • dryness or irritation in the eyes
  • difficulty focusing

The American Optometric Association found that 45 percent of Americans feel neck or back pain after prolonged use of a computer or cell phone according to a recent survey

Who Does this Affect? More than 70 percent of those who report CVS symptoms wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Constant sufferers should get their eyes checked to see if they need a new prescription. Eyeglass wearers should be sure the center of each lens is directly in front of the eyes. Contact lens wearers need to remember to blink often.

What are the Risks of CVS Syndrome? No permanent eye damage has been connected to CVS, but the pain and discomfort can affect work performance and home life.

How does one avoid Computer Vision Syndrome ?
  • Decrease the bright light around the computer
  • Position the computer monitor so that windows are to the side, not in front or back.
  • Make sure the contrast between the screen background and characters is high (black text on white background is best).
  • Text size should be three times the smallest size you can read
  • Look away from your screen every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object to relax your eyes' focusing muscles
  • Get up and move around, do some simple neck stretches
  • Computer ergonomics are very important, check your desk and chair height. Check your monitor distance and angle.

Read more about the CVS Syndrome at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine .

Source: A New Name for Computer Eye Strain

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