Term Paper: Computer Vision Syndrome

Pages: 11 (3073 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Physics  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The continual refocusing sets off a chain of effects that ultimately leads to CVS:

While using a computer, the average person blinks about four to six times per minute. The normal rate is 22 blinks per minute that keeps eyes naturally moistened.

Reduced blinking leads to a "dry eye" condition caused by excessive evaporation of eye moisture. The condition devolves into itching, burning, blurring, heavy eyelids, fatigue and even double vision.

When "dry eye" sets in, most people tend to arch their eyebrows upward to continue seeing clearly. This can eventually cause a headache.

As a result, in order to fend off the dry eyes and headaches, people unconsciously resort to uncomfortable and awkward postures in front of their PCs. From these advancing and repetitious gyrating, CVS is associated with "baffling" musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck stiffness and sore shoulders.

Remedies and Personal Adjustments


Because researchers have come to understand the physiological dynamics of CVS they have defined some ergonomic countermeasures. While these suggestions do not eliminate the problem entirely, they can alleviate some of the symptoms by disrupting the processes that led to them.

Placing computer screens slightly below eye level

Situating seats and desks to keep 20 to 26 inches between employees and their screens. While this is the natural focusing distance for eyes, this cannot be attained for laptop users.

Arranging reference material close to monitors and at the same level to reduce the amount of continual refocusing.

Advising employees to keep PC monitor contrast and brightness at lower levels

Installing glare screens on monitors.

Introducing appropriately placed lighting that does not cause random reflections on screens.

Office ergonomics are proving to be an effective defense against CVS, but the sheer prevalence of computer-oriented jobs, combined with ever more time spent in front of the screens, often makes it necessary to provide specifically designed protection for heavy-duty PC users.

Personal Protection at Eye Level

CVS creates special needs for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Most prescription lenses are designed to help people read print, but they are not specifically designed for computer work. Bifocals also complicate matters by forcing wearers to look at the screen through the bottom of the lenses, causing additional ergonomic challenges as they crane their necks to the point of backache. So eyeglass wearers should consider getting an extra pair of eyeglasses designed for the right kind of focusing.

Prescription eyeglass wearers have had an additional resource available to them to fight advantage against CVS over the past few years. Their optometrists could prescribe lenses with special color filters that counteract the effects of CVS by screening certain light wavelengths, radiation, and electromagnetic fields which come from computer screens. Progressive employers who utilize a high number of computers in their offices have been quick to see the benefits of this filtering technology, and many cover the costs of eye examinations and these glasses to make sure employees can do their work without problems. Uvex Safety had become one of the first producers of protective eyewear for the workplace, and they have been among the first to offer this option to employer. The company recently introduced a family of nonprescription eyewear called "PCvision, which uses a new variant of filtering called enhanced visual amplification (EVA) lens technology."

Another company is Cable Car Eyewear, which offers its I-Optix Computer Eyewear collection, which uses a "patent-pending lens technology to reduce the glare from ambient light sources while increasing the crispness of screen contrast and eliminating color distortion." The I-Optix line includes several Computer Readers eye glasses for people who wear reading glasses while using a computer. Cable Car's I-Optix Computer Glasses are non-magnifying to accommodate people who do not need corrective vision eyewear.

Reducing Glare

Taming glare is the second approach which a company can take in order to reduce the likelihood of CVS amongst its employees. Many of these solutions are low to no cost, and they can significantly reduce the likely hood of CVS.

Situate the computer so the screen is perpendicular to windows and not directly below overhead light sources.

Use a glare screen

Use a flat-screen monitor, not one with convex screen.

Avoid using light-colored backgrounds or patterns on the screen, and stick with dark characters on a white field.

Clean the monitor and glare screen regularly

Have a complete eye exam by a qualified professional at least every two years.

If you experience pain, flashes of light, floaters, blind spots, or blurred vision, make an appointment immediately.

When you buy eyeglasses, tell your optometrist about your computer use patterns.

Position task lighting so it illuminates the document, not your computer screen. If you can see the light reflected when you look at the screen, move the light farther back or to a different angle to the screen.


Just as an athlete in training has different nutritional needs than the person who works in an office, the person who sits behind a VDT for many hours each day has increasing levels of nutritional demands on the tissues, muscles and nerves in his or her eyes. Recent research has identified a small collection of nutrients which are essential to eye health. Proper eye nutrition can even reverse degenerative eye diseases. In order to ward off the onset of CVS, nutrition can be used as a preventative measure.

TheraLife Inc., a leader in the discovery and development of cutting-edge drug enhancement technologies, recently announced that the company's new oral TheraLife Eye (R) formulation can bring relief to as many as 60 million computer users who suffer from CVS. According to the announcement,

In the past two decades, computer use has grown dramatically. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million Americans using computers on a regular basis. With the advent of our becoming an information society, we are paying a price in our eyesight and vision health," said Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, a renowned Southern California optometrist. "Because computer use is such a highly demanding visual task, vision problems and symptoms are very common and growing in complexity. Most medical and government studies indicate that regular computer users report substantially more eye-related problems than occasional users. Computer screen glare, a vertical work surface, a rapidly flickering screen, lack of sufficient contrast, unnatural eye positioning, and greatly reduced blinking all contribute to CVS," said Dr. Anshel.

Dr Anshel continued in his endorsement for the product, and said that the best available treatment for CVS-related dry eyes is TheraLife Eye. The nutritional supplement is designed to be taken orally and they contain all natural ingredients which contribute to the nutritional well-being of the eye. Lily C. Yang, Ph.D., TheraLife CEO and President says that "Unlike eye drops, TheraLife Eye enables the eye to secrete natural salt-based tears, rapidly relieving the discomfort of dry eyes and eye fatigue. The product's effectiveness in treating dry eyes has been scientifically substantiated in a Phase IIb clinical trial."

Some of the nutrients included in the TheraLife Eye formulation are in the table below.


An antioxidant that can be converted into Vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy eyes, bones, hair and skin. It protects the brain cells from free radical damage, and maintains eye structures such as the retina.


This herb helps the eyes and cardiovascular system by stimulating and increasing overall circulatory health.


This is an "eye-brightening herb" that is often used in conjunction with Fructus Lycii to treat eye conditions. It improves blood circulation, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory affects.


Required for red blood cell and hemoglobin formation and acts in enzyme systems.

Fructus Lycii

Known as the "eye-brightening herb," it is used for poor eyesight, eyestrain, cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye disorders. The fruit provides antioxidant protection for the eyes against free radicals.

Natural Vitamin E

It protects cell membranes, proteins, fats, and Vitamin A from destructive oxidation. Vitamin E preserves Vitamin A in the eyes, protects red blood cells, and boosts the nervous system and immune system.

Riboflavin (B-2)

This vitamin is necessary for healthy eyes and skin.


An antioxidant that stabilizes vitamin E

Semen Cassiae

This herb has anti-histamine like properties to treat itchy, red and painful eyes.

Vitamin C

An antioxidant that inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C helps to maintain bones, teeth, hair, nails, and blood vessels. Works together with Vitamin E and Beta Carotene to deactivate free radicals.

Ten years ago, the most rapidly increasing depilatory condition was the carpel tunnel syndrome, which was the result of increasing levels of repetitive motion in the hand and wrist. CVS has become the most rapidly rising syndrome for the early 21st century. By adapting our work and living environments to those factors which create the problem, we can prevent this condition from become a significant health risk.


Anshel, J. 1997, July 1. Computer vision syndrome: causes and cures.

Managing Office Technology.

Chambers, Anne. 1999, Oct. 1. Computer Vision Syndrome: Relief Is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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