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Computer Use and Eye Damage

Computer UseWill extensive computer use harm your eyes?  As LASIK specialists, this is a question we are frequently asked at Victoria Eye Center in Victoria.

The short answer is no.  Using a computer will not permanently harm your eyes.  However, the over use of computers can cause eye problems. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is the name for eye problems caused by computer use.  CVS is not a single problem but refers to a range of eye problems caused by computer use.

Symptoms of CVS can include:


    • Headaches
    • Blurred vision
    • Dry eyes
    • Red or irritated eyes
    • Neck or back pain

People who use computers usually don’t blink as often as those that don’t use computers, causing dry eyes which can lead to irritation.  Normally, humans blink about 18 times a minute, but some studies show we blink only half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices.

Some people can also experience headaches while using computers or video games, which may indicate that the person has a problem with focusing, causing eye strain. Computer-use eye strain can be made worse by improper use of contacts (wearing them too long, wearing dirty lenses), etc.  It’s better to wear glasses at least occasionally while using a computer.

We advise that computer users take a break away from the computer every 20 minutes. Sit about 25 inches from the screen and look at the screen in a slightly downward manner.  These techniques may help you avoid common problems associated with the use of computers.