Like hundreds of thousands of other Canadians, many of us have a job that depends on us staring and responding to a digital computer screen all day. All that screen time can really put a strain on your eyes, but have you ever thought of the damage it could cause to your overall health?

According to, eye problems caused by computer use fall under the heading, Computer Vision Syndrome or also known as CVS. Anyone that spends multiple hours in front of a digital screen is at risk, yet is unheard of by fewer than one in five people.

Although the main symptoms can be written off as something else like just a tough day at the office, it’s important to notice if you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis and pay attention to what your body is telling you:

  • Redness or irritation in the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • General fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches

In the Blink of an Eye

According to one of the main causes of CVS is the amount of times we blink when staring at a digital screen for a long period of time. In an average minute, we normally blink about 18 times, but when we are focused on digital devices like a computer screen, cell phone, or any other kind of tablet, that blinking time is reduced to half. This can be harmful as our eyes are moisturized by blinking and when we don’t blink as often, it can result in irritated, red and dry eyes.

Stress on the Eyes

Looking at a computer screen or cell phone is way different than reading words printed on a page and according to the American Optometric Association, uncorrected vision problems can increase the severity of syndromes. They also state that the letters on a computer or handheld device are not as precise or sharply defined, the level of contrast of the letters to the background is severely reduced, and the glare and reflections on the screen may also make the screen hard to see.

The Solution

  • Stay Hydrated
    • Drinking lots of water can prevent your eyes from becoming dry
  • Be Aware of the Angles
    • View your devices from an angle that is slightly below your eye level and keep it at a comfortable distance away from your eyes
  • Adjust and Set
    • Adjust your settings like turning the brightness and contrast down to be more comfortable on your eyes, and increase the font size for things like text messages, emails or documents you may be writing
  • Eat Properly
    • Eat certain foods that are good for your eyesight like blueberries, eggs, broccoli, garlic, carrots and tomatoes
  • Avoid Contact Lenses
    • Contact lenses can cause dry eyes. If you need to wear them, use a lens safe moisturizing eye drops regularly
  • Computer Screen Glasses
    • Digital screens are tinted towards the blue spectrum of light which can be hard on the eyes. Prescription or non-prescription screen glasses, which are becoming more accessible have a light yellow tint and can drastically reduce your eye strain
  • Follow the 20/20/20 Rule
    • Take into consideration your screen time and remember that for every 20 minutes you spend in front of a digital device, take 20 seconds to look at something that is 20 feet away. Trust us, it works!

Taking care of yourself and your vision is important to not only your physical health, but your productivity at work. If you are dealing with any symptoms related to Computer Vision Syndrome, Nearsightedness or farsightedness and are interested in laser vision correction surgery, book a complimentary assessment with our vision team. We will discuss how laser eye surgery can help make your day a little easier on the eyes!