Using the computer more than 2 hours a day is hard on your eyes. Your eye muscles have to stay in focus, track across thousands and thousands of words, and work like a synchronized swim team, or you will see blurry or double. If you have astigmatism, are farsighted, or your eye prescription is different in each eye, this adds more strain to the focusing system. Also, if your eyes don’t work well together (the eyes drift apart due to poor eye muscle coordination from strabismus, convergence insufficiency or excess, and tracking problems), this can cause eyestrain and diminish your productivity also. To see my latest TV interview about CVS, go to:

It is more tiring to read from a computer screen than a printed book because the pixels that form the letters are not stable, and have less contrast & definition than books. There is an electron beam that scans the monitor and recharges the illumination of each pixel frequently. Your eyes have to continuously “fill in the gaps” to keep the words in focus which causes fatigue and eyestrain. Printed books are easier on the eyes because the characters are dense and have well-defined edges.

Studies suggest that most computer users experience some level of eye discomfort from computer work; therefore, most people who work on a computer more than a couple hours daily could benefit from prescription computer glasses.

Symptoms of CVS include:
• Overall fatigue
• Headaches or eyestrain
• Dry, burning eyes
• Double vision
• Blurred vision
• Neck and shoulder pain


• Get your eyes checked because even a small, uncorrected prescription can cause eyestrain and decrease productivity. Glasses prescribed for computers balance the eyes and eliminate the constant refocusing effort. This increases comfort, accuracy and productivity. Computer glasses are not the same prescription as reading glasses which are prescribed for a closer working distance of 14-16”. Most computer screens are set at 20-24” away. Computer glasses may keep your eyes from getting worse (more nearsighted) by reducing excessive focusing strain on the eyes, especially for children and teens whose eyes are still developing.

• To avoid visible flickering, the Refresh Rate should be set at a minimum of 75Hz

• Vision Therapy to correct eye muscle problems computer glasses eliminate the constant refocusing effort that your eyes go through when viewing the screen. Vision problems that affect productivity include: Strabismus (esotropia, exotropia), Amblyopia, Convergence problems (convergence insufficiency or excess), Oculomotor Dysfunction (tracking problems), Fusional Instability (impaired ability to fuse the images from both eyes together).

• Take a 20/20 “eye break”. Every 20 minutes, rest your focusing muscles by taking a 20 second break. Look into the distance, away from your desk and computer for 20 seconds.

• Correct computer set up: do not have a window in front of, or behind, your computer screen. Overhead lights should be perpendicular to you. Dim the room lights to decrease glare and avoid washing out the computer screen and causing glare. Use a light on paperwork or your desk if necessary, but make sure it’s not pointed at the screen.

• Use artificial tears to moisturize your eyes if they are dry. Your doctor can also recommend homeopathic remedies and nutrition tips to increase tear production

Technically speaking, if your eyes are tired, or you are tired, have your eyes examined to see if a prescription for Computer Glasses can help you, or if you have an eye muscle or focusing problem, or dry eye problem that is treatable. This will help you be more comfortable and more productive at work, school, and while tweeting on your iPhone or Blackberry!

Dr. Elise Brisco

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