AOA (2007) Advises Daily Computer Users of the Risk of Computer Vision Syndrome

Learn more about computer eye strain

Americans who use computers daily should be aware of the risk of computer vision syndrome (CVS), more commonly known as computer eye strain, which gives rise to dry eyes, eye strain, neck and back pain, light sensitivity and fatigue. These symptoms can result from individual visual problems, poor work station configuration or improper work habits.

In responses to the American Optometry Association's (AOA) 2007 Eye-Q survey of 1,005 Americans 18 years and older, it was found that most people (82%) frequently work with a computer or a handheld electronic device and 42% spent three+ hours a day doing so. Most Americans (78%) do not have their computer monitor positioned at the correct height (below eye level).

Pre-existing uncorrected vision problems like hyperopia and astigmatism, inadequate eye focusing or eye coordination abilities and age-related eye issues may contribute to CVS, and the constant refocusing effort required while working at a computer stresses the eye muscles, affecting individuals' comfort and productivity.

After prolonged computer or handheld device use, subjects experienced:

  • 41% - eye strain
  • 45% - neck or back pain

While many of these symptoms are temporary, some may continue experiencing visual problems, such as such as blurred distance vision, even after computer work has stopped. Yet only 11% of respondents said that they currently use special computer glasses or computer screen filters to help reduce glare and discomfort.