Computer Vision Syndrome: What Is It And What Effects Does It Have?

Computer Vision Syndrome

In the current digital age, it is unthinkable to move away from our cell phones and computers, which seem to have become another extension of our body. From work to entertainment, we are increasingly dependent on these devices with digital screens for our daily and everyday tasks. Have you ever stopped to think about the impact that this use, perhaps abusive, can have on our health?

One of the emerging concerns in recent years is Computer Vision Syndrome, also called digital eye strain or computer asthenopathy. This encompasses many ocular and physiological symptoms that are consequences of the use of digital devices and exposure to screens.

The objective of this dissemination article is to explore in depth what Computer Vision Syndrome is, its causes, symptoms and effects, as well as to provide practical advice to prevent and alleviate its discomfort. Understanding this syndrome is essential in a world where technology plays a central role in our daily lives. By educating ourselves about its risks and taking preventive measures, we can safeguard our visual health and general well-being while continuing to enjoy the benefits of the digital age.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as digital eye strain or computer asthenopia, is a set of ocular and physical symptoms resulting from prolonged use of digital devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices with electronic screens. This syndrome has become increasingly common in today’s digital age, where the use of electronic devices is omnipresent in daily life, both at work and in leisure time.

The main factors that contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome are prolonged exposure to blue light emitted by digital screens, eye fatigue due to constant focusing on close objects, lack of regular blinking when looking at screens, and muscle tension associated with posture. sedentary while using digital devices.

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The blue light emitted by digital screens, in particular, has been the subject of research due to its ability to penetrate deep into the eye and disrupt circadian rhythms, which can affect sleep quality and lead to sleep disorders. Additionally, eye fatigue caused by continuous effort to focus on close objects without rest can cause blurred vision, dry eyes, itching, burning, and headache.

It is important to keep in mind that Computer Vision Syndrome It does not only affect adults who work long hours in front of a computer screen, but also children and adolescents who use electronic devices for educational, recreational and social activities. In fact, studies suggest that children may be even more susceptible to the negative effects of prolonged exposure to digital screens due to their developing visual system and their reduced tendency to blink regularly while using electronic devices.

The main causes

Computer Vision Syndrome has various causes that contribute to its development and manifestation in those who make extensive use of digital devices. These causes are closely related to the digital environment in which we live and the ways in which we interact with technology. Below are some of the main causes:

1. Blue light from screens

One of the main causes of Computer Vision Syndrome is exposure to blue light emitted by the screens of digital devices. Blue light has a short wavelength and high energy, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the eye and affect the photosensitive cells in the retina. This prolonged exposure can disrupt circadian rhythms, suppress melatonin production, and cause eye strain and sleep disorders.

2. Eye fatigue

The act of constantly focusing on nearby objects, such as when reading text on a digital screen, can cause eye strain. When the ciliary muscles inside the eye repeatedly strain to focus, they can become fatigued and tight, resulting in symptoms such as blurred vision, dry eyes, itching, and burning.

3. Lack of flickering

When looking at digital screens, people tend to blink less frequently than normal. This may be due to concentration on the screen and the effort to maintain attention on the content. Reduced flicker may cause dry eyes and increase discomfort during prolonged use of digital devices.

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4. Improper posture

Sedentary posture while using digital devices can also contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome. Poor body position, such as hunching over a device or holding an uncomfortable position for long periods can cause muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and back, exacerbating symptoms associated with eye strain.

Symptoms and effects

Computer Vision Syndrome presents a variety of symptoms that can affect the comfort and visual health of those who spend long hours in front of digital devices. These symptoms may occur individually or in combination, and their intensity may vary depending on the duration and frequency of screen use. Below are some of the most common symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome:

1. Eyestrain

Eye fatigue is one of the most predominant symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. It manifests itself as a feeling of tiredness or heaviness in the eyes, often accompanied by blurred vision, difficulty focusing, and sensitivity to light.

2. Dry eyes

Prolonged exposure to digital screens can reduce the frequency of blinking, resulting in decreased eye lubrication and a dry, irritated, and itchy feeling in the eyes.

3. Headache

The constant eye strain and muscle tension associated with a sedentary lifestyle They can cause tension headaches, which manifest as a feeling of pressure or pain in the forehead, temples, or the back of the neck.

4. Blurry vision

Blurred vision is another common symptom of Computer Vision Syndrome and can manifest as difficulty focusing on near or far objects. This symptom can worsen over time and affect the overall quality of vision.

5. Sleep disorders

Exposure to blue light from digital screens can interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythms which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, maintaining restful sleep, and waking up feeling rested.

6. Difficulty concentrating

The physical discomfort associated with Computer Vision Syndrome, such as eye strain and headaches, can affect the ability to concentrate and cognitive performance during activities that require sustained attention.

Prevention and tips to alleviate Computer Vision Syndrome

Fortunately, there are preventive measures and practical tips that can help alleviate and prevent the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. Adopting healthy habits and making adjustments to the digital environment can make a big difference in long-term comfort and visual health. Here are some useful recommendations:

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1. Regular breaks

Take short and frequent breaks while using digital devices. The 20-20-20 rule is especially helpful: Every 20 minutes, look at an object about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to rest your eyes.

2. Adjust the lighting

Reduce the screen brightness and adjust the contrast settings to make it comfortable for your eyes. Also, make sure the ambient lighting in the room is not too bright or too dim, as this can cause eye strain.

3. Use blue light filters

Consider using blue light filters on your digital devices or apps that reduce the amount of blue light emitted by screens. These filters can help mitigate the negative effects of blue light exposure and improve sleep quality.

4. Maintain proper posture

Make sure you maintain an upright and comfortable posture while using digital devices. Use ergonomic chairs and tables that allow you to maintain good body alignment and avoid hunching over the screen.

5. Blink regularly

Blinking is necessary for lubrication of the eye, which tends to dry out due to exposure to screens and blue light. Consciously try to blink more frequently while using digital devices to keep your eyes well lubricated and prevent dry eyes.

6. Do eye exercises

Practice simple exercises to relax your eye muscles and improve visual flexibility. For example, perform movements of looking from side to side, up and down, and focusing on near and far objects.

Conclusions

In conclusion, Computer Vision Syndrome is a growing concern in the digital age. Its causes include exposure to blue light, eye fatigue, and poor posture. Symptoms range from eye strain to sleep disorders. However, prevention is possible with regular breaks, lighting adjustments, blue light filters, and proper posture. These changes can relieve symptoms and improve long-term vision health. It is essential to raise awareness about this syndrome and adopt healthy habits to maintain well-being in a digitally connected world.