POSTED: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 8:58am
UPDATED: Monday, November 22, 2010 - 8:59am
Having problems with blurry vision and eyes that won't focus? Your computer may be to blame.
Are you bothered by tired eyes and blurry vision?
You may think you just need some more shut-eye, but the real cause could be staring you in the face.
23-year-old Stacy Jansen never suffered from vision problems, but after just 30 minutes of using her computer at work, her eyes would start to tire and she'd have problems focusing.
"I thought I wasn't sleeping enough. I thought I was just tired," she says.
Jansen was suffering from what some eye doctors are calling Computer Vision Syndrome.
"A lot of people have multiple problems when looking at a computer screen. It could be a visual problem, I really can't see it, the screen is blurred," explains optometrist Dr. Stephen Glasser. "It can be a functional problem, where their eyes aren't working well together and that usually leads not to blur first but strain."
Dr. Glasser says Computer Vision Syndrome often goes undiagnosed because it affects a lot of people like Jansen who don't suffer from other eye sight issues.
Symptoms aren't always vision-specific, either.
Many sufferers simply find they don't function as well at work.
"You're talking about a loss of efficiency. I can't read as long as I used to. The screen bothers me I have to look away. My eyes get more tired. I'm losing comprehension. It's not Alzheimer's. It's the ability to focus on the screen," says Dr. Glasser.
It's also affecting people trying to read smaller screens, like those on smart phones.
Glasser says that causes strain if you're using the devices in low light or near windows causing glare.
Most of the time Computer Vision Syndrome is easy to fix.
Often it's a matter of ergonomics.
If your monitor is set too high or your chair is not in the right position, it's harder to focus on the computer screen.
Stacy Jansen got eye glasses specific for the computer.
They're not for seeing distance or reading up close.
Rather they help her eyes focus on the screen.
She says now that she's using them, she can work for hours on her computer without any side effects.
"I feel great. I no longer feel tired. I look in the mirror and my eyes aren't red anymore," she says.