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Increasing Prevalence of Computer Vision Syndrome Highlights the Need for Preventive Vision Care

by Busines Newswire
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Although rapid technological development in recent years has helped enhance daily productivity and efficiency, it has significantly contributed to adverse consequences for the population’s eye health. Specifically, a systematic review published in the Journal of Optometry points out the relationship between the use of technological devices and the global prevalence of computer vision syndrome (CVS), which has increased to 69% and primarily affects women and university students.

The set of eye and vision-related symptoms in CVS can compromise one’s health and overall quality of life, entailing a closer look at its long-term implications. The alarming increase in the diagnosis and progression of CVS among populations also highlights the need to explore preventive strategies to decrease its prevalence.

Understanding the health implications of CVS

Also known as digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome (CVS) refers to a group of visual disturbances associated with extended exposure to digital displays of phones, computers, tablets, and other electronic devices. Besides digital displays having higher visual demands than printed text or images, such devices emit blue light, which a previous post has explained to have damaging effects not just on the skin but also on the eyes through the increase in reactive oxygen species.

As a result, the symptoms of CVS include eye strain, headaches, dizziness, blurred or double vision, dry eyes, and neck or back pain. These visual symptoms can also contribute to preexisting refractive errors like nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism, making preventive vision care crucial to preserving eye health.

Addressing CVS through preventive approaches

Expanding access to eye exams

Although solutions to CVS can vary depending on the severity and frequency of its symptoms, preventing and managing the condition starts with a comprehensive eye examination. An eye exam from a qualified optometrist can help determine which biological or environmental factors contribute to or worsen the visual symptoms related to computer use while also measuring the extent to which visual acuity is affected by CVS.

While most individuals miss out on routine eye exams due to the lack of access to nearby optometrists and optical offices, the development of over-the-internet eye care technology, as exemplified by the IbisConnect platform, enables patients to receive 11 different eye exams remotely, including visual field testing.

Increasing use of blue light glasses

Besides getting regular eye exams, individuals have been minimising the damaging effects of computer use by investing in blue light glasses. As previously discussed, the blue light emitted by digital devices can negatively affect the eyes, but this eyewear filters blue-violet light from the sun and artificial sources to support long-term eye health.

Besides eye protection, online eyewear retailer Clearly emphasises the benefits of blue light glasses for visual comfort, as they alleviate symptoms of CVS, like eye strain, during dedicated periods of work. Much like eye exams, getting blue light glasses has become more accessible, with the retailer offering its prescription and non-prescription frames with the protective lens feature at affordable prices.

Development of eye-safe digital displays

Another way to reduce or eliminate the blue light and glare coming from digital screens is through filters or coatings on the display itself. As such, electronics company Eyesafe has developed a screen technology called Eyesafe RPF60, designed to filter out blue light in the 435-440 nanometre range.

This range is considered harmful since it can penetrate the eye’s protective surfaces, such as the lens and cornea, and thus damage the structure of the retina. Through the use of unique materials, this protective screen accessory can prevent or reduce the symptoms of CVS without compromising colour and display performance.

The alarming rate at which CVS cases increase must not be overlooked. Fortunately, the wide range of preventive strategies mentioned above encourages individuals to pay closer attention to long-term vision care.